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 gown. The overdress is almost identical, with both having half-length sleeves and a loose flowing feel to it.
Perhaps the biggest and central difference is in the basic shape of the base gown. The 1910's gowns were more loose and less fitting to the figure. So really, the shape itself is taken from the contemporary fashion for bridal dresses.
It's like they went for a modernized take of a 1912's gown, changing the wide tube shape for a more fitting form that would emphasize Portman's figure.
But the materials used for the design are, again, based on Edwardian fashion. Embroidered laces with embroidery are very common in the early 20th century fashion.
|Irish Tambour Lace Circa 1880-1910|
|French Battenberg lace wedding gown, c.1900|
The laced veil is held into the headpiece by a band decorated with swirl embroidered beads and jewelry reminiscent of little leaves. She wears her hair down, soft waves cascading down her back.
This is clearly based on 1920's fashion. There's really no debating on that. It basically takes from the idea of the "Juliet's cap" which was wildly popular during the 20's.
The Juliet cap is a small openwork crocheted or mesh cap, often decorated with pearls, beads or jewels. It was popularized in the 1920's first as a headpiece worn with evening gowns, and would eventually seep into bridal wear (used until the late 1930's).
I always though it was a risky choice at best. The Juliet cap wedding veil is a very dated fashion and a very identifiable one at that. And whenever I saw it, it completely sucked me out of the Star Wars universe. It feels too grounded in reality.
But I guess that the audience who can clearly identify the style as 1920's is a really minor one. So I can understand why they used it, after all, most people don't even think about it.
All in all, the design is a very modern one. They were trying to give her a romantic air, and it definitely shows. Still, despite being a gorgeous dress, there's nothing in it that makes it look like it belongs in Star Wars. You could marry in that dress and nobody would bat an eye.
And that, to me, is problematic. True, they are married in secret, and therefore this dress should reflect a certain private side of the character (she shouldn't marry in queenly robes, that much is certain), but it still should have a coherence with the universe it belongs in.
It's not detached enough from our reality. It's, literally, a 1912's dress with some 1920's and all this slightly modified for 2000's sensibilities of beauty.
This is a recurrent thing in the prequels and it's something I'll always disagree with.
|To see full scale:|
And so, with this design we will wrap up the Padme series in regards to Episode II. But there is still one more prequel to go through! Next January I will resume the Padme series with the designs for Episode III. I still haven't decided which ones I will do or how many will I do, so I'm open to requests. If there is a specific design from Revenge of the Sith that you'd want me to do, please tell me.
Also, I will be working during the Christmas hiatus, and I won't be able to post much until January. So this is probably the last full length article I'll be able to post until late January. Still, I'll try to post brief articles from the Force Awakens series as regularly as I can.
To read A look into Star Wars: Padme's Dresses. Part XI click here.