The 'Bridgerton' cast discusses those season 3 glow-ups in new video

Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton season 3
(Image credit: Netflix)

Wallflower no more! Though Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) may have been hiding behind that old Lady Whistledown pen name for the past two seasons, the upcoming "Bridgerton" season 3 will see the formerly shy and unassuming young lady confidently step into the spotlight as this year's romantic leading lady, navigating a will-they-won't-they slow-burn romance with her longtime friend Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton).  

“She is a butterfly emerging from her chrysalis this season,” showrunner Jess Brownell proclaimed in a new featurette about Penelope's big transformation, which "Bridgerton" fans will get to see when the first four episodes drop on Netflix on May 16. (The final four installments will follow on June 13.) 

"Some of the characters this season have evolved into new looks, one being Penelope," costume designer John Glaser details in the three-and-a-half-minute video, which hit Netflix's social media channels on Saturday. At the beginning of the new season, you'll see the Featherington daughter clothes from the previous two seasons, in varying shades of what actress Adjoa Andoh — who plays Lady Agatha Danbury — jokingly calls "eye-burning yellow." (We see Pen herself declare "I do not wish to see a citrus color ever again!")  "We could have done it slowly, but we quickly change her silhouette, change her color palette," adds Glaser, with Penelope started to don more flattering gowns in hues of blue and green. 

Overseen by hair and makeup designer Erika Ökvist, Penelope's beauty look was also given an upgrade, trading the makeup of earlier seasons (i.e. "very strong colors that doesn't necessarily work with her skin tone, but definitely works with the character") for freshness and rosy cheekbones lifted "up to God." "It really helped the helped me grow in confidence, you know, to feel good in the costumes," added Coughlan. 

Coughlan's fellow season 3 lead Luke Newton also had a transformation for the new season: "I think the internet has dubbed Colin's new look 'Sexy Pirate'," Brownell joked. "It's not too off from what we were intending." Gone are the boyish, dandyish ensembles of yore; now the Bridgerton lad "looks like a man," added Glaser. Newton himself could feel the confidence change in his character: "He's got like this element of swagger to him now."

There are also glow-ups for many characters not used to being in the center of things, including Will (Martins Imhangbe) and Alice Mondrich (Emma Naomi), whose fashions change after "they get into a little bit of money this season," said Ökvist.

And a mini-makeover arrived for other returning "Bridgerton" characters like season 2's leading lady Simone Ashley, who plays Kate Sharma on the Regency-era series: "With Kate, this season, we've softened her colors, brought them into what we call the Bridgerton Blues. We've also brought in a little bit of Indian influences," Glaser revealed.

You'll be able to see all of the above transformations when "Bridgerton" season 3 premieres on May 16. In the meantime, Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all things "Bridgerton," including the fashion and beauty intel. And you can revisit those old looks yourself by rewatching seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. 

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Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.