Bridgerton Costume Designer John Glaser on Penelope Featherington’s Makeover, Regency, and More

Vivid, rich greens, though striking against Coughlan’s fair skin and her character’s copper locks, would become “tiresome” if it became Penelope’s staple shade. Similar to being showered in sunshine yellow in the first two seasons, the powerful effect of the bold hues in amongst the pastel garden tones, loses its impact.

Glaser also notes that when designing Penelope’s new wardrobe, he couldn’t encroach on the existing color associations in the show.

“We softened her colors and used blue and green together, little bit of pinks, touches of yellow,” he continues. “We didn’t want to place Easter gggs for people to think ‘Oh, this blue dress means she’s going to be a Bridgerton.’ I wanted to keep all the costumes a little mysterious because they were all changing and evolving.”

Light and ethereal, Penelope’s new color palette embodied the natural essence of a flower to feel organic and reinforce her flourishing character. The color of her gowns was also a process of elimination, as Glaser had to avoid the Bridgerton blues and those former citrus shades.

“Her color palette was actually the one Colin used to wear in season one and two, with those light colors. They’ve both grown older and their lives have matured,” he shared. “We layered fabrics together to make a color, so if someone asks what color that dress is, most people have three or four opinions on it, because it depends on how you look at it.”

The color of Penelope’s costumes is open for interpretation, similar to her character: peel back the layers to discover different aspects of her identity as both the social reject and the revered and respected Lady Whistledown, the pen name she uses for her popular gossip column.

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Though Penelope is the central focus of this season, her costumes never detract from the rest of the scene. Our wallflower blooms and blends into the rest of the Bridgerton flower garden, which the costumes are based on. No longer the direct contrast to her friends, she subtly compliments her surroundings and only stands out now for the ornate, intricate detailing in the embellishments of her gowns. She is opulent and abundant, not overpowered by her clothing. Adorned with beaded flowers or dainty lace gloves and sheer wraps, Penelope is elevated above the average woman’s appearance this season but in an understated way.