Ladies of the Ton to the red carpet, please! Bridgerton stars Nicola Coughlin, Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran are the latest period-drama actresses to observe that grand tradition of all who find themselves thrust into the spotlight for wearing a bonnet or a tiara or a corset on film: the “I’m totally a modern woman” frock. We call it the Dockery Maneuver. Just this week, those battling Crawley sisters Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery hit the red carpet for the premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era pulling the red carpet move they helped define. Red carpets are about promoting three things at once: a project, the corporation who sponsored or underwrote that project (hence the constant logos on red carpet backdrops), and the careers of the people involved with the project. For actors who want to expand their opportunities and range of work, any red carpet is an opportunity to remind people who they are and more importantly, who they’re not.
Nicola Coughlan in Emilia Wickstead
This is cute and feels a little classic-modern, to which she’s well suited. We don’t love that length of sleeve for a dress and we think the collar is slightly too large, but it’s cute. Might have benefitted from a belt. The shoes take it somewhere twee, but that’s kind of her deal.
Simone Ashley in Andreādamo
We like the idea of this look more than the reality of it. Something sexy and body con is a great way to break away from the Regency heroine mold. But the design of this dress is terrible – that hem is just irritating to look at – and the color isn’t particularly photogenic. Plus she’s sliding out of her shoes, which we’ve been seeing a lot lately. Is there some sort of supply chain issue happening among the stylists?
Charithra Chandran in Michael Kors Collection
While we think the style skews a little mature and the textile skews a little bit upholstery, we think the look overall is pretty cute.
Nicola Coughlan: Emilia Wickstead Green Dress | Valentino Shoes
Styled by Aimée Croysdill | Hair by Peter Lux | Makeup by Adam Breuchaud
Simone Ashley: Andreādamo Ribbed Knit Dress with Cutout Detailing | Ilio Smeraldo Shoes
Styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray | Hair by Cameron Rains | Makeup by Emily Cheng
Charithra Chandran: Michael Kors Collection Floral Print Ensemble
Styled by Holly White
[Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix]
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