Netflix's dazzling new period drama, based on Julia Quinn's best-selling novels, clearly has the nation hooked - it's currently sitting at the streaming service's number one spot after debuting on Christmas Day.
But wasn't just the presence of the physical insects flying around - some eagle-eyed fans spotted bee motifs on the clothing as well. Like, for instance, the small bee embroidered onto Benedict's collar here:
Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. According to Marc Pilcher, the show's Head of Hair & Makeup, "The Bridgertons have a bee which appears on certain parts of their costumes, and for the Featheringtons, it’s butterflies. We have a few little hair decorations that reflect this as well and we pop them in now and again.”
Below is a behind-the-scenes image from the show's costume department (who created a whopping 7,500 pieces, might we add). This appears to be the embroidery for Penelope Featherington's ballgown, which you can see in the following Instagram post.
See the finished product: Penelope donning her family's symbol, the butterfly:
So why the rampant insect symbolism? In many cultures, the butterfly is a symbol of rebirth, change, and growth. As a butterfly struggles to break free of its chrysalis and emerge as a beautiful new creature, so too do the nouveau riche Featherington women.
In an interview with Vogue, Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick notes, “The Featheringtons are new money and [the mother] Portia needs to marry her daughters off. She sets the tone for them as a family and their color palette is overly citrus because she wants those girls to be seen. It might be too much, but that’s not on purpose. She thinks they look beautiful." Social butterflies, indeed.
And the bees? They represent power, community, and hard-working focus. This fits with the posh Bridgertons, who, as impossibly good-looking pillars of the London social scene, hold considerable influence. And as Daphne Bridgerton hatches a plot with The Duke to ward off irritating suitors so that she can marry for love, we'd argue that she exhibits a great deal of worker-bee-like focus.
How many butterflies and bees have you spotted so far?
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