Skip to main content

A look into Star Wars: Padme's dresses. Part V

Continuing with our examination of Amidala's wardrobe through Episode II ("Attack of the Clones"), we will break down the "packing" dress.

She wears this dress in her apartments while packing her things to undergo the trip back to Naboo. It's a very brief scene at the very beginning of the movie, but still it became one of her most well known gowns in Episode II.

The dress consists of a light grey blouse with puff sleeves that are drawn tight by four silver bands at the upper arm. Over the blouse, she wears a high-collared, double-breasted corset of a dark blue-grey velvet. The front of the corset is decorated with a finely embroidered brocade panel. The skirt is a darker grey cloth and it's pleated just enough so it ripples.

The design of this dress turns its focus even more westwards, drawing more from European fashion than any of the other designs that I've covered so far. Setting itself apart from the dresses of Episode I, differentiating clearly the "queen" look from the "senator" look.

In this case, though, the historical influence of the design is not so transparent. It pulls from European fashion, but doesn't focus on a single country or a single time period. It blends them into the final design quite elegantly.

The main structure of the dress is highly reminiscent of mid 16th century European fashion (from the 1540's to the 1570's); with the wide skirts, corset and puffed sleeves.

Isabella de Medici, ca. 1565
Isabella of Valois, Queen of Spain
(aprox. 1560)

The high neck of the corsets seen in these two paintings is very similar to Padme's corset. But the waist of her corset is much lower than the average 16th century corset, and the sleeves are lighter and more flowing.

And so, while the structure is clearly 16th century Europe, the finishing details are appropriated from the late 19th century and early 20th century art-nouveau Europe.

Afternoon dress (1901-1902) 
Wedding dress, London (1902)

The type of cloth; its weight and consistency is much closer to the early 1900's European fashion. As seen in the pictures above, the shape and flowing cloth of Padme's sleeves is closer to this than to Elizabethan fashion.

Another influence for this look is, undoubtedly, the Czech Art Nouveau painter; Alphonse Mucha. His influence is very noticeable in regards to the jewelry and embroidery of the dress. Let's have a closer look at the silver bands and the brocade panel.

The use of color and patterns is very common in Mucha's work: blue, gold and silver are key colors in his designs.

In the above pictures we can see similar embroidered panels: the predominant colors being also blue and gold, and decorated with highly elegant geometrical shapes (the geometrical decorations didn't become fashionable until the late 19th century, so an Elizabethan dress would have never had such decorations).

This two Mucha jewelry pieces (he did more than painting: he also designed furniture and jewelry) are also very similar to the silver bands around her sleeve. They both combine blue and silver with a very "nature" inspired patterns. The use of silver brings the design a more modern look and helps to create that otherworldly feel of the dress.

But, as always with Padme's look, what really gives the design its uniqueness is the hairstyle. For this gown, her hair is done in a unique semi-crescent shaped buns on the sides of her head, decorated with a delicate headpiece made of embossed pieces of metal connected by tiny silver chains.

The hairstyle pulls its influence from the Hopi indians; a native American tribe from the Arizona area.

Hopi woman
Hopi woman

The Hopi Buns are very characteristic and visually striking. It's only normal that these were appropriated for Padme's design, for it helps to create the futuristic look of the character.

The finishing touch of the hairstyle is the silver headpiece that frames her face. Just as in the other decorations of the dress, the Mucha influence is pretty clear in this piece of jewelry.

The shapes and patterns are very similar to those drawn by Mucha, as are the use of geometrical patterns and base colors.

Both use small and delicate chains to unite the bigger jewelry pieces, using them as a means to frame the face.

The last way in which this design differentiates the "queen" look from the "senator" look, is the makeup: here, as throughout Episode II and III, she always wears a clean and fresh face, removing itself from the iconic "queen" make up.

This is, undoubtedly a gorgeous and elegant design, some may say even too elegant for the scene it's used in. Unfortunately, that is a widespread problem with these movies.

To see full scale:

To read A look into Star Wars: Padme's Dresses. Part VI click here.


Popular posts from this blog

A look into Star Wars: Padme's Dresses. Annex A

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, the size of Padme's wardrobe is leaning towards big. One might even say gigantic. Because of this, we are forced to choose which ones we review and which ones we don't. Otherwise, we would still be reviewing the costumes from Episode I. Thanks to this selection process, right now, in our Padme series' we are reviewing costumes already from Revenge of the Sith. But lately, we've been thinking a lot about those designs that got "lost in the selection", as we call them.
WHY WEREN'T THESE SELECTED? Generally, those that we did not select for our series were considered "not interesting enough". But what does that mean? Well, it means two things; either they pulled from the exact same influences as any of the dresses we had already addressed (which would make for a very repetitive article) or were considered too simple and basic to talk about them at length.
And then, of course, were those that we simply did …

A look into Star Wars: Padme's Dresses. Part II

Let’s continue with our thorough examination of the designs of Padme Amidala’s dresses. This second post in the series will be dedicated to the also terribly famous “senate” gown from “The Phantom Menace”. She wears this dress during her plea at the senate in Coruscant, and it has grown to become a terribly well known gown.

This gown has several layers to it. The base layer is a bright orange silk dress, with a high collar decorated with ornate gold stitchwork and beads. Over this, she wears a dark red overdress with orange hems decorated with gold brocade. This overdress has big sleeves and its embroider with rosettes. Above this, she wears a dark and thick faux fur cloak with shoulder pads that make her look twice her size.

Although what really made this dress iconic, is the headdress that accompanied it. Amidala's hair was dressed in a wide arc centered by a golden headpiece with golden hairbands to keep her hair's shape. This arc was decorated with dangling orichalc suspens…

Creating the Seven Kingdoms. Part I: The North

As we promised a few weeks backs, we are going to cover more tv shows from now on, mainly because there is just too much awesomeness in our TV's these days to ignore it. And for the last 5 years, the crowning jewel of TV costume design has been, without a doubt, HBO's Game of Thrones. So it was only logical to start there.
The downside is that there is so much to talk about that it becomes really difficult to decide where to start exactly. G.R.R. Martin's sprawling epic covers many characters and many places, and therefore there's really a lot to pick up from. In the end, we decided that we would take a page out of the author's tactics and split it in several different series of articles to be published gradually. And so, this is going to be the first of many. And we probably should warn you, there will be spoilers ahead. CREATING THE SEVEN KINGDOMSGame of Thrones, from an adaptation standpoint, faced many of the same problems that Peter Jackson had to face when b…

A look into Star Wars: Padme's Dresses. Part I

I’ve decided to start this blog by dedicating the first posts to the designs of Padme Amidala’s dresses in the first three episodes of Star Wars. Although  I’m not particularly fond of these movies, I have to give some credit to their wardrobe design and the thought and creativity that went into it. 
We will look into the most iconic dresses of Padme Amidala and do a breakdown of the influences behind them. Each post will be dedicated to one of these dresses.
The first one of these series is the one I like to call the “Red Invasion” gown. It’s featured the first time we see Natalie Portman’s character in The Phantom Menace, and it’s probably one of the most iconic gowns she has.

This gown is made of embroidered silk and faux fur that lines the double collar, tabards, double sleeves and hem. The alien-like touch is given to the dress by the electric lights placed on the skirt, that are made to resemble ladybugs.
The head piece that accompanies this dress is also pretty iconic in and on it…

A look into Star Wars: Padme's dresses. Part X

The last design from Episode II which we are going to be covering is the wedding gown, which happens to be the literal last outfit worn by the character in the movie.

She wears this dress in the final scene of Episode II, during her wedding with Anakin. It's a brief scene, but somehow people really remember this gown.
The design consists of an intricate gown made of lace and beads that goes with a lace veil. The gown is long and flowing, and has a small tail. The white fabric is decorated with an off-white delicate embroidery. The sleeves reach her elbows and are hemmed with scalloped lace. The entire gown is studded with pearls.

This gown takes from various historical sources, most of them pertaining to the early 20th century. The basic one with which it work are Edwardian fashion (1901-1911) and the 1920's.
The basic structure, with the gown and the laced overdress, is clearly taken from late Edwardian fashion.

These dresses (dated 1912) are quite similar to Padme's gow…