When it comes to the scope and scale of one’s profession, Emmy nominated costume designer Sofie Canale is perhaps the most adept at handling the immense and challenging workload of Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton.

The steamy 19th Century period piece started season two with a team of 120 people in house, which included cutters, milliners, teams of patternmakers, a men’s tailor, a dyer, embroiderers, four assistant costume designers, and an embellishment team. Despite this immense team of professionals, the costume department needed upwards of 700 costumes this season, with 160 makes every month that left no time to spare.

Beyond the costumes, Canale has a near endless amount of coordination required for the hairpieces, jewelry, and adornments such as gloves or the shoes to work as an ensemble. It’s over a thousand items to keep track of over the course of the season.

“Ellen Mirojnick and John Glaser built an amazing world in season one, so I had a great foundation going from assistant designer to costume designer,” shares Canale. “With season two, I felt like we were getting to develop the characters further with cuts and fabric choices.”

The newest edition in season two are the Sharmas, an Indian family that comes from Bombay to shake things up with our returning cast. “We ended up using Indian fabrics and Indian embroidery, the jewel-tone color palette was very important,” says Canale. “For Kate we had Emerald tones, and because there’s an anger in her character it dictated darker tones in the early part of the season. As we go through the season, the fabrics are softer and colors become lighter.” 

“For the emotion present between the sisters, I often used pinks and muted colors… particularly in the confrontation when Kate is in bed,” says the Emmy nominee. Canale found fabrics in the area known as Southall, citing the major South Asian population there.

A key element of building the characters whether it’s Kate Sharma, Edwina Sharma, or their mother, is the marriage actor and costume. “Fittings are an important element in getting to know the character, and because there are so many costumes there are a ridiculous amount of fittings,” Canale says of running the actors through their looks for the season. “Building the ensemble, especially the gloves in the fitting, makes the costume come together.” For the ballroom dancing dresses, Canale would leave the dresses shorter so that it was more functional for the actresses. That same mentality led to variations to corsets depending on if the performers were meant to be on horseback, dancing, or engaged in more docile activity. “When you’re designing for Bridgerton, it’s about the sense of a scene as well,” shares Canale.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a voting member of the Television Academy, Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Creative Alliance, and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (the SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

Related Posts