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

The "Tatooine" outfit from Attack of the Clones is possibly one of the less cohesive designs within the Star Wars universe. And, funny enough, that's why I'm dedicating this new entry to it.


She wears this outfit during her visit to Tatooine with Anakin. First when they go to Mos Espa and then when they arrive at Owen's house.

The outfit consists of a very light blue midriff dress with silver embroidery. The top is wrapped around her, with wide, loose sleeves that turn into a cape behind her. The hem of the cape is decorated with silver motifs. The pants are wide and loose and are accessorized with a tightly drawn, sash-like top at the waist, which is decorated with a silver beaded pendant with a sash hanging from it.


With this, she wears a full-length, large-cowled cloak. It's done with indigo material, with abstract embossed patterns. It's clasped with a simple, curling clasp studded with beads.

This is not one of the most remembered costumes in the movie, but I think it's an interesting one to break down.

The influences for this design are pretty unexpected when compared to the previous designs. The fact that it's a two-piece costume screams loudly of 20th-century influences, which is a far cry away from the other designs.

For starters, the top clearly resembles a 90's crop top, at least in length. And the presence of a midriff is also a clear call back to 90's fashion.


Short tops and uncovered midriffs are essential to the 90's look and are very recognizable. This is one of the things that make this design feel weird amongst the rest of the designs. All of the other designs I've covered so far focussed on mostly historical influences pre-dating the 19th century, which always gave me the idea that in Padme's culture, women do not go around showing much skin. Because of this, suddenly seeing her belly always seemed wrong for the universe.

But the design doesn't only feed from 1990's fashion; it also takes from 1970's fashion. The so-called bell-bottom pants became wildly popular during the decade, and this type of wide trousers became very identifiable as a symbol itself, being popularized again during the early 2000s.


These types of pants are pretty similar to the ones worn by Padme in this design.


Another element taken from the '70s is the shape of the sleeves. These wide bell-shaped sleeves were also very characteristic of the '70s.


And just to wrap the 70's section, this Cher outfit looks pretty similar to Padme's outfit. The waistline of the pants is practically identical.


And from the 1970's and 1990's American fashion to traditional Indian Fashion.


The two-piece structure is also reminiscent of the traditional Indian Sari; especially the type of fabric used and the tightly-drawn sash-like top at the waist of the pants. Of course, there are many differences, and it's more of a flair than a proper influence.

If we turn to the design of the cloak, the influences are more African oriented. The way the hood frames her face is pretty reminiscent of the traditional garb for Yemenese and Libyan brides.

Yemeni Bride
Lybian Bride

Padme's design is a simplified version of these traditional costumes; there is no jewelry and almost no colors aside from the indigo. It's only logical, as she's supposed to be in disguise.


The design also takes some ideas from the traditional costume of the Sahara cultures. Again, it's a logical choice; Tatooine is supposed to be a desert planet.



These pictures show the Tuareg traditional costume. The color palette of Padme's design seems taken from there though they chose to use a less vibrant blue.

As for the patterns and decorations, the design goes back to the default influence to those throughout the movie: art nouveau.


The motifs, the cloak's clasp and the sash decoration are clear callbacks to art nouveau, just like in the packing dress and the purple senate gown.


This art nouveau's pattern has a lot in common with the patterns in Padme's outfit, as well as those in the cloak.


And look at the encrusted jewels drawn here; the resemblance with the jewels encrusted in the sash is uncanny.

The design is topped by a hairstyle that we've already seen in Padme before. It consists of two buns on the side of her head with the rest of her hair hanging down. This is decorated with an intricate, delicate metal headpiece. 


It's a less complicated version of the picnic gown hairstyle, with something of the packing gown hairstyle.

Picnic Gown Hairstyle

Packing Gown Hairstyle

The two side buns are very reminiscent of the ones she wore with the picnic gown; being a simpler take on the medieval crispinette.


In this design she wears no fish-net to keep the buns in place, creating a more relaxed feel. She's in the middle of nowhere, and so she styles herself with less pomp and everything flows more loosely.

Just as in the picnic design, she wears the rest of her hair loose. But this time is collected in a messy ponytail. In the environment she finds herself is only logical to keep the hair in a ponytail, instead of having it flying around.


The topping detail of the design is the metallic headpiece; it's very similar to what she wears in the packing gown design. That's because both pieces take inspiration from art nouveau's jewelry.


The main problem with this design is that it is not coherent with the rest of her wardrobe. it doesn't feel like it belongs in the Star Wars universe, much less that it belongs to this character. It's beautiful, yes, but it's not her.

Whilst most of the designs have a coherent base of influences (the queen look uses Asian influence, and the senator look uses Baroque European influences) this design totally jumps the shark and uses the American 70's and 90's as a base, giving it a completely different look that doesn't fit in.

If we add the fact that the original trilogy already showed us the "Tatooine" look and it has nothing to do with this (except perhaps the color), this makes for a completely incoherent design.

The cloak and the hair are somehow coherent, but the dress just feels as if they wanted to show Natalie Portman's midriff. The character, as we've been shown until now, would never wear something this revealing; she's always dressed in delicate and beautiful dresses, but never this revealing.

And to me, that detracts from the beauty of the design. No matter how gorgeous it is, if it doesn't fit the movie or the character, it shouldn't be there.

To see full scale:
https://www.pinterest.com/alba0531/a-look-into-star-wars-padmes-dresses/

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

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