Bridgerton Returns: How Costume And Culture Shine This Season

Everyone’s favourite Regency-inspired drama is back and is quite frankly better than ever. While this was foreshadowed by the show’s legion of fans who have declared that Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me was the best book of the series, Shondaland’s adaptation takes it further. This season follows Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Miss Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) as the enemies-to-lovers that we all can’t get enough of.


Courtesy of Bridgerton Netflix.


Beyond their incredible chemistry, this season hits home for a lot of Indian viewers for it’s portrayal and effortless integration of Indian customs. For a Western period drama to openly show appreciation of such a rich culture is validating and highlights the importance and power of representation. For Bridgerton to cast Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran, two stunning dark-skin Indian women, and portray them as the romantic interest and the “diamond of the season” is sensational and something Bollywood has yet to accomplish. From Edwina Sharma’s (played by Chandran) use of the endearment “didi” (older sister) to the intimate Haldi ceremony, Bridgerton embeds Indian culture into it’s storyline innately and with appreciation of its beautiful traditions.


Courtesy of Bridgerton Netflix.


This care and attention to culture is clearly visible through costume designer Sophie Canale’s vision for season 2. Her choice of dressing Edwina, Kate and their mother Mary in flattering peaches, deep purples and vivid blues shows an understanding of colour and skin tone. Each costume is distinctive and intentional, as Canale designs show a visual difference between Edwina, who dresses predominantly in lighter and arguably more Bridgerton colours, and her sister who is seen almost exclusively in richer, darker and more silky tones. The bond between Edwina and Kate is distinct to other sibling relationships depicted on the show and is enhanced with scenes of sisterly love, the oiling of hair and “didi” duties. It seems to comment on their disposition and personalities throughout the season, showing that wardrobe really does enhance the understanding and dimension of a character.


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Jewellery was even more luxurious this season, with jewellery head Lorenzo Mancianti’s creations often taking centre stage within a shot. Like last season Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her family wore elegant and more subtle pieces, while the Featherington’s donned ornate yellow gold and the Sharma’s were in undoubtedly Indian-inspired gold jewels. A clear reference to Indian jewellery was notable in episode 2 of the season, where Edwina is seen at the races wearing gold jhumkas. Kate is equally seen in gold beaded jewellery that is undoubtedly a nod to Indian designs.


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By far one of our favourite scenes from the season was the intimate Haldi ceremony shared between Mary Sharma and her daughters. Traditionally a pre-wedding custom, the ritual is believed to brighten the bride’s skin with a turmeric-induced glow and bestow blessings on the married couple. From the lustrous orange gowns they all wore to the instrumental rendition of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham playing in the background, it was an emotional and pivotal moment to say the least.

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While we have focused this far on the depiction of Indian costume and customs, we have to appreciate the attire of the show as a whole. Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) and Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) continue their spirited friendship as their fashion sensibilities also take on new heights. The Bridgertons are as stylish as ever, with Eloise (Claudia Jessie) taking a more forward role this season in both style and mind. We cannot dismiss the Featheringtons, who despite their dwindling conditions, become even more ornate in acid-like colours and abundant appliqués. Enjoy some photos of the best of Bridgerton our dear dear readers!


Courtesy of Bridgerton Netflix.


Last but not least, we did not forget about the Kanthony lovers out there. This one’s for you!


Courtesy of Bridgerton Netflix.