It's giving Queen Charlotte meets Montauk.
Every time a new season of Bridgerton drops, Regencycore rears its well-coifed head. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, the latest entry into the bodice-ripping Netflix series' universe, is no exception. Not only was the standalone series chock full of the expected aspirational hair, its early May release date meant it was perfectly positioned to influence viewers’ summer fashion choices. And boy did it ever.
Regencycore as an aesthetic — while all about opulence — is also distinctly romantic and feminine. The frilly, petal-leaning shapes spotted in the peplum revival movement wouldn't look out of place in a Regencycore 'fit.
In fact, "Toile de Joy," Eliza Faulkner's Spring/Summer 2023 collection and this writer's latest fashion obsession, has more than one top featuring ruffled waist-snatching details. Along with its corsets, skirts, and beribboned ruffle tops, the collection offers something most Regencycore clothes simply don't deliver all, while getting in on another TikTok-driven trend: the coastal fashion person craze. From grandmas to cowgirls, everyone has gone coastal — and now, so is the regent.
Rather than pile on layers, Eliza Faulkner's seasonal pieces are lightweight, airy, and comfortable. If Queen Charlotte and King George summered in the Hamptons instead of Hampton Court, she would probably pack the Jolen Dress in Blue Toile de Jouy ($338). And you won't find any heavy brocade or itchy fabrics in Toile de Joy. Instead, lightweight cotton, linen, and sumptuous velvet details add a deliciously rumpled air to the collection, giving it undeniable coastal energy. And slipping into the Tessa Dress ($447) captures the regal vibe flawlessly.
The unique Coastal Regencycore feel of these pieces isn't just based on the airiness of the textiles, but the brand's unique approach to this aesthetic's silhouettes. While undeniably glamorous, Regencycore is typically anything but casual. Given the hourglass shapes that women were cinched into — India Amarteifio's titular heroine bemoans the whalebone corsetry that kept noblewomen snatched and barely breathing in the series' first episode — it's not surprising that modern Regencycore isn't known for being comfortable. But Faulkner's new line bucks that tradition, even coining its Candy Corset ($162) as this season's "comfortable corset."
That being said, the shapes seen throughout the line do celebrate women's bodies, but without the pinching, puckering, or squeezing. Along with dresses and ruffled tops, the line also boasts loose-fitting button-downs and shorts that combine classical Regencycore prints with street-style-inspired silhouettes, the very epitome of comfort and style combined.
Above all, this latest collection is alluring — sexy even — without any of the physical discomfort we sometimes associate as a side effect or even a requirement of the era. Much like how the steamy romance scenes in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story are able to retain both passion and playfulness, Toile de Joy delivers pieces that are sultry without being too serious. Consider, for example, the smallest accessory in the collection: the Scrunchie Garters ($34).
Are they suggestive when worn as garters? Absolutely. The combination of saltwater taffy shades, velvet ribbon, and floral prints evoke a weekend at the shore and a midnight rendevous over a secret garden all at once. At the very same time, these are garter-scrunchies, just as home holding back a salty ponytail as resting under a tulle skirt. Really, what could possibly be more coastal Regencycore than that?
Eliza Faulkner's Spring Summer 2023 collection is available now.
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