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Split image of Sam Phillips in costume as Lord Debling

Bridgerton's Sam Phillips reveals hidden meaning in Lord Debling's costumes – exclusive

The actor has nothing but admiration for Bridgerton's costume department

Megan Bull
TV Writer
May 22, 2024
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An eligible new bachelor is on the Bridgerton marriage mart, and his name is Lord Debling. "He sees himself as an outsider, and he's someone who goes against the grain of society in the rest of the ton," actor Sam Phillips tells HELLO!

"He's a complex character. He's introverted and likes to watch from the peripherals of society and I think that makes him quite interesting because he's not honking after a lot of attention. He's just standing and looking from the outside – that was quite juicy to play."

Bridgerton season three part one – trailer

As he prepared to step into the character's top hat and tails for season three, the Bridgerton newcomer worked closely with the costume department, hinting at Debling's character arc and eccentricities through his decadent wardrobe. 

"There were nods to the fact that he's a conservationist with some of the colours – the greens. We talked a bit about that," explained Sam. 

Lord Debling holds Lady Penelope's hand at a ball© Netflix
Sam Phillips as Lord Debling

"Also because he's not a typical member of the ton, there were flamboyancies to his costumes as well, whether that was how his necktie was done up or a little detail on his jacket.

"There absolutely were [hidden details]," he continued. "They [the costume department] were so wonderful at putting those in and they were really collaborative when talking about those as well." 

Sam Phillips and Nicola Coughlan as Lord Debling and Lady Penelope Featherington© Netflix
The character's wardrobe is symbolic

Asked if he had any personal preferences for Debling's wardrobe, Sam recalled thinking that the character, being totally comfortable in his own skin, would have no problem standing out. 

"I just wanted him to look a bit different than the average member of the ton because he's quite bold in his choice of interests," said the star. "With the colours as well, I wanted to make sure that they were slightly more interesting or different."

Lord Debling in Bridgerton© Netflix
Lord Debling was given a nature-inspired colour palette that reflected his role as a convervationist

Left in awe of his Bridgerton wardrobe, Sam would have jumped at the chance to take home a costume or two, but alas it wasn't to be. "There was talk of me taking back one of the neckties because I thought it was beautiful, but I didn't manage to grab it," he shared with a laugh. 

For Sam, the Regency-inspired sets were just as elaborate as the costumes, allowing him to get into character quickly. "I think they do most of the work," he raved. 

Sam Phillips and Nicola Coughlan filming a dance scene© Instagram
The decadent costumes and sets helped the TV star get into character

"You step into these incredible sets wearing these insane costumes that are beautifully made. And from the costume fitting that's where I think most of the work's done already.

"When you step into that costume, and then onto those sets it's mad,” added Sam. “It's just wonderful because you get to experience that world in a way that – only on a big Netflix show – you can really be taken there." 

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