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At a time when Netflix has become our saviour for lockdown 3.0, series and films that really capture and then keep your interest are fundamental. It’s hard to find something that can be agreed upon by the majority, but recently, the resurrection of films such as Little Women and the popularity of period dramas, including Reign and Bridgeton, seem to have done just that. The combination of impressive fashion pieces alongside the escapism that these shows provide from our routinely dull everyday lives creates a buzz like no other. One only has to turn to social media platforms such as TikTok to see numerous recreations of outfits, or to Depop persuading you to purchase a ‘vintage’ corset, or even to fast-fashion websites such as ASOS and PrettyLittleThing that have the ability to make long silk gloves available to buy before anyone has even finished watching episode one.

intsagram/cw_reign

To answer the question of why the clothes of fictional characters, in particular those of the female protagonists, have such an impact on viewers, we start with Reign; a series based around Mary Queen of Scots and set in the mid 1500s. Beaded bodices, heavy pleated skirts and dramatic colours are consistently showcased by Adelaide Kane. A standout feature of her elaborately designed and embroidered dresses is their imposing necklines, often square-cut or with keyhole cut-outs, drawing attention to her neck and any jewellery which happens to adorn her. Cut-out tops and dresses have certainly increased in popularity, with dress websites such as OhPolly adding this detail into the bulk of their styles. Statement jewellery, such as the Vivienne Westwood necklaces, chokers and big earrings have forced their way back into mainstream fashion, but most noticeably, it’s the tight bodices and corsets that have had the most significant impact on our sense of style. From affordable Amazon copies to expensive, authentic recreations, it’s become impossible to online shop without the ‘women’s’ section being inundated with lace bodices and faux corset-style tops.

instagram/bridgertonnetflix

Reign is certainly not the only show to be pushing corsets and olden fashion trends into the limelight. The recently premiered series on Netflix, Bridgerton, brings 1800s Regency-era clothes back in style, making us pine for balls where we can show off our short-sleeved empire gowns just like Daphne Bridgerton herself. The outfits and accessories, including long silk gloves, pearls, diamonds and various headbands are already being incorporated into the wardrobes of our favourite influencers, with the Jenner family already rebranding the corset as everyday wear. To the elite of the 1800s, who are represented by the likes of the Bridgerton and Featherington families, wardrobe was monumental. Unlike nowadays, where most of our clothes come from fast fashion, are dispensable and hold little value to us, Daphne’s dresses would have formed part of her identity. This importance of apparel is slowly returning to society, as we look to more sustainable ways of constantly updating our closets. Resurrecting your mum or grandma’s old top into something ‘vintage chic’ has become a trend, and one I hope is here to stay! The anti-feminist stance on cinching the waist disappears when we elect to wear it for ourselves – reclaiming the clothes women were once forced into is delightfully liberating, even if the corset itself is physically confining.

instagram/cw_reign

The fashion choices of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women excite the most. With four remarkably diverse sisters, their outfit choices are made to reflect their personalities. Jo is consistently dressed in more ‘boyish’ womenswear, pulling off power suits, peasant blouses, collars and neckties, never wearing a corset. The subtle choice of putting her in Timothee Chalamet’s character, Laurie’s, vest further enhances her differing fashion choices from her sisters. Shopping from the men’s section, dressing more androgynously and restyling your dad’s old jumpers is more than on trend at the moment. Jo pioneered the path to our male relative’s wardrobes! Whilst Jo delights in the 19th century version of ‘bruh’ girl dress, Amy revels in the luxurious and Meg in the practical, allowing this costume drama to provide possibilities for everyone. Personally, I love the look of a collar underneath an outfit, which seems to be in alignment with the rest of the fashion world, exhibited in the resurgence of dickey collars.

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Mountain View

Regency reimagined: costumes in Netflix’s Bridgerton

We are constantly looking for ways to revamp our sense of style, but when online shopping seems monotonous and repetitive, it becomes difficult to find something which doesn’t resemble what you already own. Period dramas, which transport us to an entirely different era, provide us with a new model to aspire to. We become more creative and bolder in our fashion choices, wanting to dress like these powerful female protagonists in order to emulate their attitudes. Everyone has the power to be the ‘diamond of the season’, or at the very least, the diamond of their daily walk!