Bridgerton is a very pretty show to look at, the overall art design rooted in history but with a touch of whimsy that brings out the romantic fantasy of the story. It’s also an incredibly BLUE show. Blue is the dominant Bridgerton color (with complimentary shades of purple and pink acting as highlights), to the extent that a family gathering almost looks like a sports team ready to take the field. What’s interesting about the use of blue in Bridgerton, though, is how it weaves in and out of characters’ stories, a signal of where they’re at emotionally, and you can decode social alliances just by scanning the colors of a ballroom. Before we dive in, shout out to Bridgerton costume designers John Glaser, John Norster, and Ellen Mirojnick; production designer Will Hughes-Jones; and set decorators Gina Cromwell and Kimberley Fahey for bringing us this fabulous world of blue.
The Bridgerton’s London house is dominated by blue—blue carpets, blue drapes, blue flowers everywhere, blue wall coverings. (Interestingly, though, their front door is green, and the Featheringtons, whose signature color is green, have a blue front door. It’s visual link between the families, a sign that no matter what occurs, there will always be a little Featherington in the Bridgertons, and vice versa.) But what is most interesting is how the Bridgertons use blue to signify mood and current status in the family. Colin, for instance, who is on the brink of his “grand tour”, an extended trip through the European continent, wears the least amount of blue of all the Bridgerton boys, and when he finally departs for his tour at the end of the season, he wears no blue at all. Of the Bridgerton boys, Colin is the natural-born wanderer, and he is entering a phase of his life that will see him away from his family for long periods of time. His use of blue is the weakest because he is the Bridgerton drifting away from his family. But, when he’s in trouble and his family rallies around him to stave off scandal, suddenly Colin is pulling out the blue velvet coats and covering himself in the family shade. It’s like a safety blanket for Bridgertons in need.
The character who journeys the most through Bridgerton blue is Daphne. Simon’s color is red, which he shares with Lady Danbury, his closest social ally in London.
When they first meet, Daphne is all Bridgerton blue all the way, but once they wed, Daphne starts donning a lot of purple, which is, of course, the combination of blue and red. Lady Danbury, too, begins wearing purple shades, signifying the Basset-Bridgerton alliance and her approval of it.
Even Violet and Anthony, the heads of the family, pick up more purple after the wedding, a couture acceptance of Simon in the family. Purple becomes the dominant color around Daphne, but as she and Simon fall out, her shades fade into more blue-tinged tones like lilac and periwinkle, until she is in full blue glory to support Colin back in London. You can literally map the state of the Hastings marriage by what color Daphne is wearing on a given day, but it’s not just her clothes that define her. After Simon and Daphne’s climactic fight, Daphne retreats to the duchess’s bedroom which is, you guessed it, entirely blue. Not unlike Colin’s safety-blanket blue coat, Daphne has a “Bridgerton zone” inside Simon’s house.
Then there is Eloise, the fractious Bridgerton daughter and the one who chafes most at her role in society. Eloise is a square peg in a round hole, and as such, she is the most off-color Bridgerton. She sports a lot of pink and purple and even green, though it should be noted that, like Daphne, when her family is in trouble, she pulls out the blue. She also has a penchant for blue hair ribbons, so even if her dominant shade is not blue, she maintains that tie to her family. In contrast, Benedict is more settled in himself despite having many of the same artistic ambitions as Eloise, and so he more consistently wears Bridgerton blue, though he does love his colorful patterned waistcoats. There’s a little bit of Arts & Crafts flair to Benedict’s patterns that signal his artistic bent. It’s always fun to watch Eloise and Benedict together on screen, as they share so many interests and secrets, but express their artistic sides in completely different ways both in their characters and their clothes. Even if Benedict and Eloise fall out of step with the other Bridgertons, they always remain in synch together.
The grand finale of Bridgerton is the Hastings ball at the end of the London season. This is the make or break moment for Simon and Daphne’s relationship, but you should be able to predict how it will end up because the entire thing is so damn blue. Blue flowers, blue decorations, and a guest list almost entirely dressed in blue—except the Featheringtons, leave it to them to stand out. Daphne wears a purple gown, a concession to Simon, while Simon wears an embroidered blue waistcoat, a nod to Daphne.
Meanwhile, their cheering section—Lady Danbury and the queen—turn out in purple, a celebration of the Basset-Bridgerton marital merger.
The overwhelming blue of the crowd signals the Bridgertons’ social victory, with Daphne making her brilliant match and Colin escaping scandal. The Bridgertons emerge triumphant, and the entire ton dons their color in response.
I do wonder if blue will continue to be the Bridgerton color, or if it will shift season to season as each sibling takes the mainstage. If that is the case, I wonder what Anthony’s color would be? Yellow like a honeybee, perhaps? Green? It would have to be natural shades and not the eye-searing poison green of the Featheringtons. I would love to see Bridgerton follow a shifting color palette as the story changes focus for each sibling. Think of Benedict’s gold and teal waistcoats and imagine the bold colors we could have in his season (season three, if Netflix lets Bridgerton get that far). Whatever may come from future seasons of Bridgerton, this season gives us a world of blue that charts Daphne’s rise to duchess, as the Bridgertons cement their place at the top of the ton.