‘Bridgerton’ Costumes Boost Fans of Historical Dress

This is the world of Corsets, Stay and Chemise. Wiskits, bomb rolls, breeches and hoop panniers. For actors, wearing a period costume has meant stepping into the long past: turning soft modern flesh into ancient shapes and learning to use the toilet without peeling off multiple layers.

“Bridgerton,” the shockingly diverse Netflix series of Shonda Rhymes, founded in England in 1813, came abruptly New interest in Regency fashion ignited. But a global community of enthusiasts has been designing, making and wearing clothes since the 19th century and for many years before that. Long a personal obsession by films like “The Leopard” and “Pride and Prejudice”, social media has widened the conversation, with fans of all ages and backgrounds around the world now accommodating a sleeve trim or a straw bonnet The best trade notes to do.

Pre-pandemic, they gathered in Los Angeles Costume college, An annual conference at the Carnival of Venice and Fights galantes In Versailles. Some lucky Europeans, such as Philippa Trozzelli, invite themselves to private parties in ancient local estates to wear their historic clothes.

Ms. Trozzelli, known on Instagram as @comtesse_comtesse, Stockholm has a 29-year-old antique jewelry appraiser, whose family home is filled with ancestral paintings. At the age of 25, with a degree in art history and cultural studies, she was hit by a car and spent 18 months recovering. With lots of free hours, she started watching historical tutorials, pattern books, and YouTube tutorials on how to order information.

As she gained proficiency, she took a period dance class and began attending monthly parties with others in costume. “You can’t really understand history until you’ve worn it out,” she said. “You get a completely different understanding.”

Ms. Trozzelli is a “huge fan” of fellow obsessives Merja Palkiwara, There is a 38-year-old car mechanic in Sipu, Finland, whose meticulous creations have earned him 51,000 followers. “She’s the best! She surprises me! That woman is a genius!” Said 43-year-old Luca Costigliolo, who lives in Genoa and designs, wears and teaches historical costumes School of Historical Costumes in London. Ms. Pallikwara started making period dresses 15 years ago, inspired by the red satin gown in the film “Moulin Rouge”.

“The whole sewing thing is out of the norm for me,” she said. “I grew up making motor sports and fixing cars, but I was fascinated with corsets and lingerie and collecting them. I love all kinds of feminine clothes, so it was fun to find a way to bring it into action. “Today he has made 20 to 30 period clothes and even carved his own historical shoes.

Ms. Palkiwara praises Mr. Costigliolo as “one of my personal heroes” for his understanding of the silhouette of the period; Experts believe that most modern styles are ruined by modern undergarments, not corsets and stems that make historically correct body shapes. Mr. Costigliolo began making and wearing corsets at the age of 11, and wore them at the art school in Genoa at the age of 16 under his lewis. “I had a passion for Scarlett O’Hara and her 17-inch waist,” he said. “I had an Anna Karenina obsession.”

With a supportive family, and living in a raffish port city that embraces eccentricity, they began wearing more and more period clothes in public, such as from Venice to rebuild Scarlett O’Hara’s mourning dress Rebuild train for Carnival. The Internet has made it easy to share his early passion. “Today you can explain things more clearly,” he said. “I did it long ago.”

Everyone has a different reason to enjoy the historic costume, Mr. Costigliolo said. “For me, I needed something to give me strength,” he said, to come out as gay. “For women, it can be a body that just doesn’t look good in modern clothes, or you fall in love with a style and it’s purely aesthetic. It is also a mental journey, where you understand an era. It adds a little bit of poetic to your life. “

Many men who wear period clothes enjoy group re-enactments and activities American civil war or Tudor Time in Britain. Michelle cremer, 52, an actor who lives in a 200-year-old house in Philadelphia, has been converted to Benjamin Franklin for 15 years, whether addressing a conference or publicly reading the Declaration of Independence in Valley Forge Ho. He said the learning curve was “endless”. “” I just read everything there was to read “- even Franklin wore an original suit. But wearing breeches and uncomfortable buckle shoes is a task for Mr. Kramer, not sports. “I don’t put on the dress until I pay for it,” he said.

Some people who want to learn sewing and construction skills critical to such activities come to the eight-year-old School of Historical Dress in London, where they can take small-group short courses led by its director Jenny Tiramani, 2013. Winner Tony and former director of theater design at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Selling his pattern books It has tripled since the epidemic, she said.

Hilary Speech Coffee, who has worked Duration corset In Seattle for 22 years (and bought the company in 2012), it said that business had boomed since the release of “Bridgeton”, with customers asking him to choose a $ 100 kit instead of a corset, which for $ 200 Begins and can cost thousands. She also sells underpants: a bum roll at $ 56, a pocket hoop pannier for $ 368 and a drum farthingale for $ 434.

The months of pandemic segregation, widespread infection and death that have been endangered by tolls and sweat, can slip into the distant past via Rab a la Français, swathed in 10 yards of silk, even more attractive. “It’s completely transportation,” Ms. Coffey said. “You take on a personality. You become something different, something better. The gritty reality is daily. Once you get dressed, you have etiquette again.

“Wish for higher experiences,” he said Carolyn Anne Dowell43, a costume historian in Kingston, Ontario. “I want to wear beautiful clothes!”

Elegance aside, many enthusiasts of historical dress are upset that their numbers are very white, female and distinctly rich. “It’s something I’ve been talking about for years which is uncomfortable,” Ms Palkiwara said. “I have never been one to uphold traditional values. I hate that it would look like a white elite. I hope ‘Bridgton’ will make it more acceptable. “

“The community is very white and has been. It is a sticky issue in which the community is grappling with more calls for diversity, ”said Ms. Dowell.

“It’s a real issue,” said 38-year-old Taylor Shelby, a reproduction jewelry manufacturer in Washington, DC. “There is some ickiness about showing wealth and making fetish of early America. We want more people of color to join in just to enjoy it. There is a lot we can do. “

For Panini Malakdeh, 35, an artist and Iranian-American living in Los angeles, Wearing early European clothes is a political statement. “Why can’t I wear those beautiful gowns that are allowed to wear white European?” he said. “I often feel like an outcast. I’m the only brown girl at a party.

Wearing rustled silk and delicate lace also stood the test of 18- and 19th-century life, when wealthy women played the piano, embroidered and waited to get married – enjoying little agency.

“The past is fun,” Ms. Dowell said, “but we wouldn’t like to be there.”

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