How Bridgerton's Popularity Led Us to Regencycore

Olivia Hosken
·2 min read
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

From Town & Country

In retrospect, it was only a matter of time before Bridgerton infiltrated not only our screens, but our homes. The Shonda Rhimes–produced Netflix series takes place in the lavish era of the Regency period. It has all the pretty trappings of Cottagecore—British countryside, sweeping gowns, flickering candles—but with a candy-coated shell and lots of gilt, think Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette over Emily Dickinson. Regencycore is here, and it's down to party. Unsurprisingly (after a year of pandemic-life), we are too.

Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

The Bridgerton estate was filmed at Ranger's House, a Georgian red-brick mansion in South London, but to achieve the bright scenes and vibrant colors for the show, British production designer Will Hughes-Jones and his team built the majority of the over 250 sets on a soundstage. Along with it, nearly all of the furniture, draperies, and wall coverings were custom-built, with Hollywood magic tricks like vinyl-topped consoles made to appear like marble and marquetry.

Viewers, however, want the real thing. "Since the release of Bridgerton, we’ve seen sales for 18th-century French antiques grow by 99 percent," says Anthony Barzilay Freund, director of fine art at 1stDibs. At the time, King George IV was a major francophile, so British nobility would have collected and commissioned French antiques and furniture, spanning different periods for the Regency mix we see on Bridgerton. “Louis XV is king of all kings— at least for now!— with sales up 154 percent year over year. Nipping at Dad’s heals: Louis XVI is up 24 percent," says Freund.

Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

While importing a 200-year-old marble console may not be to everyone's taste (not to mention budget), Regency-style accessories in particular are booming. Etsy has reported that tea trays, vintage cocktail glasses, and vintage mirrors are all up approximately 100 percent. Freund notes that gilded, intricately carved mirrors are hugely popular, along with inlaid jewelry boxes, and ornate mantel clocks are also flying off the virtual shelves.

Will it all capture that Bridgerton magic sans ballgowns and British quips? Who can tell. But when the social season arrives, at least our homes will be ready.

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