Hail the empire waist

What is Regencycore and why has it become the biggest global fashion trend this summer?

Published: 19th June 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2022 05:36 PM   |  A+A-

Regencycore-inspired pieces from Markarian and Fendi’s Spring 2022 collections

Regencycore-inspired pieces from Markarian and Fendi’s Spring 2022 collections

Express News Service

Besides being Netflix’s most popular web series, Bridgerton––though set in the 19th century–– has had a huge impact on modern-day fashion. Suddenly, wardrobes were welcoming a whole new aesthetic phenomenon into the mix––Regencycore. The look champions a hyper-feminine style, with hallmarks being Empire-waist dresses, baby-doll dresses, pearl embellishments, floral prints, opera length gloves and other regal-inspired designs. And so popular has this trend become that the dress code at this year’s Met Gala was ‘Gilded Glamour.’

In the simplest terms, Regencycore is a dressed-up version of cottagecore, and some elements do overlap. For example, statement sleeves and corsets are staples in both aesthetics, but unlike cottagecore, which is reminiscent of cozy prairie life, Regencycore is inspired by the glamour and opulence of high-society. An empire waist dress may therefore be paired with elevated kitten heels and pearl accessories rather than slip-on sandals and flower crowns.

Still, the year is 2022, not 1811, so your day-to-day social calendar is bound to look slightly different than, say, Daphne Bridgerton, who enjoys the likes of high tea, formal balls, and parlour games. So, how can you make Regencycore fashion work with a present-day itinerary?

According to celebrity stylist Soneca Guadara,it’s as easy as piecing together a corset with your favourite pair of jeans, or wearing a pair of elbow-length gloves with a puffy shirt and flowy skirt.So, embrace volume, reach for tops with necktie details, and accessorise with elaborate extras, such as gloves, pearl headbands, dainty gold jewellery and embellished handbags. In the days of dopamine dressing, there’s no such thing as going overboard, especially if you’re headed somewhere special.

Brands like Markarian and Loveshackfancy have incorporated Regencycore into their spring collections with more wearable styles such as floral-print dresses, puff sleeves, brocade and others. Designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Simone Rocha are giving a nod to the unconventional styles seen more in The Great and The Gilded Age with pieces like bustle skirts and rigid corsets.


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