As the hotly anticipated second season of Bridgerton returns to our screens, it seems the world has gone Regency mad, with Bridgerton fashion on track to become this year’s biggest trend. From the British designers turning to the 1800s for inspiration to the key pieces to buy now, here’s everything you need to know about the Regencycore trend that’s currently sweeping the fashion world.
A television show set more than 200 years ago might seem an unlikely starting point for this year’s hottest fashion trend, but then Bridgerton isn’t your average period drama. BBC loyals would recoil with horror at the amount of cleavage, sparkle and sex on show in the mammoth Netflix hit, and puritans have complained that the costumes were all wrong. But fans of the show can’t get enough of the gilded glitz and glamour, with a staggering 82million households tuning into the first season.
Realism was never the aim for Bridgerton. While the show’s costume designer Ellen Mirojnick certainly used real Regency dress as a starting off point, she then let her imagination run wild – hence the mix of empire waistlines and puffed cap sleeves with riotous colours and outlandish embellishments. Unlike many other period dramas, which tend to borrow costumes from rental agencies, Mirojnick and her team of 230 made every outfit specifically for the show. That amounted to more than 7,500 costumes in total, including over 100 for lead character Daphne Bridgerton alone.
This led to an explosion of Regencycore, which essentially just refers to anything ornate. The term was first coined by Lyst last winter, who almost immediately noted that searches for corsets were up by 123%, while empire line dresses increased by 93% in January and February. Meanwhile, on Tiktok, the hashtag Regencycore hit 11.5million views in a matter of weeks. And after being pipped to the post by ‘NFT’ as the Collins Dictionary’s Word of 2021, it already looks set to be the term of 2022.
A raft of cool new collaborations inspired by the show have emerged, too, including Malone Souliers’ Regency-inspired capsule collection, which features dramatic feathered sandals and duck egg blue jacquard pumps, and Pat McGrath’s new Bridgerton line, made up of dreamily romantic pastel blush palettes, lipsticks and body shimmers. Then there are the top designers who have featured in the show itself, like the Erdem corset that made an appearance in the first season. British labels Simone Rocha and Shrimps have also seen recent boosts to their sales thanks to the Bridgerton effect, with fans flocking to snap up the former’s crystal earrings and the latter’s padded and pearly headbands.
Corsets, pearl chokers and miniature bejewelled bags are set to be this season’s most in-demand pieces, while dandy dressing is also due to make a comeback as season two of the show focuses on the Bridgerton boys – expect a resurgence of velvet jackets, nipped in waistcoats and heeled shoes. For your piece of this year’s hottest trend, here’s our edit of the best Regencycore pieces to shop now.