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Shows and movies have the power to temporarily transport us into new worlds. Currently, my ideal place to be teleported to is the world of Bridgerton.

The characters from the show have such rich and distinct personalities—and a lot of that world building is in the little details we see before the characters even say a word. Simply by looking at a costume, I can guess which character would wear it. 

The same goes for the wigs. The wigs of Bridgerton have become another character in the show. I look forward to seeing the story unfold—but I’m also curious as to how the wig department will top itself with each scene.

This month, my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know: who is the creative mind behind these wigs we love so much?

I went to the source to have a special conversation with Erika Okvist, the makeup, hair, and wig designer of Bridgerton

Sam: Can you share a little about how you got into this line of work?

Erika: I wanted to be a fashion designer but could not get a grant doing that—so at the same time I did theology philosophy in university (in Sweden) to get a grant. 

After I finished, I got a job as a costume designer on a coming-of-age film in Sweden. So I costume-designed this production company’s first feature. 

Then I costume- and production-designed their second feature. And on the third feature I designed the make-up as well.

Sam: Can you walk us through your process from concept to wrap?

Erika: What I normally do is research all Regency pictures and books, so that I am aware of the perils. Then marry those looks with editorial and other artwork. Sometimes I’m inspired by an object at the natural history museum and modern exhibitions. 

After this, I do drawings and talk with the makeup and hair artists. They will create some hairstyles we will test on the actors, along with the proposed make-up. 

Then we change all the styles accordingly so that we and the actors are happy. All the looks are then approved before they end up on camera.

Sam: What storytelling devices did you use this season to illustrate Penelope Featherington’s transformation through hair and makeup? 

Erika: Penelope had to get a fierce warrior look this season. She wants to get herself a husband and she wants to look desirable. So the looks we were inspired by came from old Hollywood, iconic looks worn by Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe—and those siren looks are really flattering for (actor) Nicola Coughlan’s face.

Sam: One detail that I think gets overlooked are the choices you make for side characters like Cressida Cowper and the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting. 

Erika: I mean, for Cressida, anything is her inspiration. A lot was inspired by the costume department’s hair ornaments and the costumes themselves—or even a sea urchin.

The ladies-in-waiting really are like accessories for the queen and should be there to make her look better. 

Sam: I love how you approach Queen Charlotte’s relationship to her public and private hair and makeup choices. A great example of this is the head wrap that the Queen wears when she is alone in the first episode of season three. 

Erika: I feel that her looks should represent all women and always be regal. The head wrap is one of the most regal looks I know. And as soon as we made it a bit oversized, we immediately stepped into Queen Charlotte’s world.

Sam: The INCREDIBLE swan wig in Season 3 is such a show stopper. How did you conceptualize this idea? 

Erika: The idea behind this wig was that I wanted an interactive look. I had to look at moving things that were still in period. Clockwork has been around since medieval times.

Therefore, I 3D printed the base that the swans swim around, then we made a motor to power the clockwork. 

We then had an artist paint a backdrop for the swans as if it was a theater. 

The swan wig was interesting because the construction of it all went so well. The only problem we had was that the sound man thought it was too loud. So we had to soundproof it.

Sam: I recently learned that you worked on another one of my favorite shows, Downton Abbey

Erika: Love Downton! All characters both in Downton and Bridgerton have got a “look DNA.” This is so that you recognize the character no matter what. 

The difference is that in Bridgerton we deviate from this “look DNA” and create new looks within the characters’ world for every scene. But on Downton, the characters have exactly the same hair and make up for day and night, we just change the hair ornaments.

Sam: Do you have a favorite look from Bridgerton?

Erika: Oh I’m fickle, every new look is my favorite!

Sam: I CANNOT WAIT to see how these looks evolve as the seasons progress. And I can’t thank Erika enough for her photos and for taking the time to let us peek behind the velvet curtain that is Bridgerton!

About The Author

Samantha Brunson is the owner of, a knitting and crafting blog that chronicles the crafting community with stories from a diverse group of makers.

A self-proclaimed elderly millennial, Samantha is always looking for new ways to share her love of knitwear and crafting with the world.


  • Wow. Thank you for this!! A conversation I LOVED that I didn’t know I was looking for. –YES of course. Wig-making is a fiber art.

  • I always love a behind the scenes story. The wigs of Bridgerton are their own characters! This was a super fun post. Thanks!

  • Very interesting!

  • We have been wondering how much Queen Charlotte’s wigs weigh. They’re *so* extravagantly large!

    • This question actually did come up in our interview! According to Erika “The most important thing is balance.” she pointed out that there are many people who carry large weights on their heads for practical reasons everyday. They are able to do this through balance! Additionally, many of the wigs are hollow on the inside as you can see in the heart wig construction.

      I find all of that so interesting!

  • I loved reading about the backstory of fashion & hair, the creative processes & the outcomes! Truly magical!

  • Great introduction to the designer and how she comes up with the concepts. Now we need a part two (and maybe part three?) with the actual wig-makers. How DO you make a wig, actually? And an interview with the actors: how do they keep their composure, not to mention their balance, with those grand constructions on their heads? And, yes, how much do those things weigh?

    • Pretty sure Bridgerton wigs were made by the same studio as lord of the rings, harry potter and game of thrones. I’d love to read an interview with them!

  • Totally loved your article. In spite of the fact that I have never watched one episode of Bridgerton. Never cared much for the first book, so didn’t read anymore. However, your article has piqued my interest in the series.

  • So fabulous, your story and the wigs! I’ve never watched Bridgerton either, or Downton for that matter, I’m a murder mystery series gal, but this has totally piqued my interest… Amazing and creative work those wigs.

  • Really enjoyed reading about the thought process discussed in the creation of such beautiful wigs.

  • What an interesting look at Bridgerton just by looking at the wigs! I was amazed when I first saw Cressida’s hair made into ribbons and tied into a bow. Always comic ostentation with her costumes and wigs. One of Queen Charlotte’s wigs, a blue one, was made partly of netting combined with narrow vertical knitted columns! That got my attention. I was wondering about weight and balance also, since a mere clipper ship plopped on top doesn’t cut it in Bridgerton.

  • what an interesting rabbit hole to discover on the first day of summer! thanks for sharing such an great conversation.

  • I love this! I’m going to have to re-watch Season 3 and look more closely at all of the ladies-in-waiting and background wigs!

  • Fascinating! Thank you so much for this piece. I love the marriage of pop culture, history and craft.

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