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: Gorgeous two-piece dress worn by Arwen in RotK.


*A selection of reference images for this dress can be found here*


...Context/Scenes

*First seen in a very touching scene of Arwen and Elrond in Rivendell. Arwen is reading a book when her father comes in.

*Later in the movie, we see her in Aragorn's dream/vision; wearing the same dress and lying on a bed, apparently dying.

Video clips featuring the BR dress:

"The life of the Eldar is leaving you"
with Elrond in Rivendell

"One last time"
Aragorn's vision of the dying Arwen
(from the Japanese LotR trailer)


HELP


*There is another short sequence with this dress that has Arwen jumping up from the bed and hugging Elrond. This is maybe a deleted/cut scene. It appears in both the teaser trailer and the final trailer for RotK, and as the BR scenes seemed pretty "mutilated" in the feature films, there's still hope that this scene will make it into the EE. Unfortunately, the sequence is too.short to recognise anything (abt. 3 secs long), so it doesn't make any sense as a video clip.
There are, however, screencaps of.this scene in the picture section.


Description & Materials


According to "The art of Return of the King" book:

"In this combination of dusky rose and midnight blue, Arwen's character rests at the brink of death.
We used antique lace combination around the neck and sleeves, over-dyed and then layered into with
more embroidery to affect both weight and delicacy. It needed to express Arwen caught between two
worlds, the exquisite otherworldliness of the Elves, and the weight of her love for Aragorn and humankind,
which leads her to this near-sacrifice."

-Ngila Dickson, costume designer

:


My Blood Red Dress

First...me in full elven glory ;-)

 
     

...................
....almost as many pics as of the original, huh? ;-) Some more are at the end of the page and in the "Photo art" section.



Construction details

Click on the pics for a larger view!

The basic dress (i.e. body and sleeves) was made by a friend of mine since I wanted this dress at a time where the concept of sewing was totally alien to me ;-)
I did, however, change the trims and neckline because I was not satisfied with the original trims. See here how the dress looked before.

No idea what pattern she used, I've got to ask her one day...

My dress is, unlike the original, a one piecer. No particular reason, I just think a one piece dress is easier to handle (someone who made the Requiem dress as a two piece told me it was a pain in the a*** 'cause the overdress constantly slips unless you fix it with a few stitches). Besides, there were discussions for a long time whether this was really *two* dresses or just one. I plan to make my own version of the BR one day, and it's going to be a two piecer then. So far, I *love* this BR dress though! :-) It was my first Arwen dress.

Materials

Also unlike the original, my dress isn't midnight blue but black. Reason? I *love* black!
The sleeves aren't made of velvet but of an equally heavy and drapey fabric. Oh, and btw...the sleeves look more like Ngila's original 'dusky rose' in the pictures above, but this is just my digi-cam. They aren't really blood-red as well, but a deeper red than the one above....

However, I am thinking about changing the sleeves if and whenever I come across a suitable silk velvet *and* if
I ever find the time to do it!

*****Update: I ordered some silk velvet for the new sleeves, so with a little good luck they will be done in a few months...years...whatever....

Details

Neckline

My reference picture for both the neckline and the trim was this one (without the arrows, of course - duh!):

Not only is this one of the most beautiful pics of Liv as Arwen, but it also shows the neckline and trim details best.

So, I printed this and pinned it to the board above my sewing table ;-)

Conclusions from this pic:
(Clicking on the picture will show it in high res, so that you can see what I'm talking about!!!)


1) The part of the underdress that shows at the neck is made of the same paisley velvet as the sleeves. There's a thick bouillon trim applied to it so that it only shines through, but you can clearly see it in the big image.

2) The neckline of the overdress - basically the part of the construction that holds all the weight- is *also* made of a stripe of the same paisley velvet. Most likely there's something underneath for support. It's basically the same construction method than for the Requiem Dress, the Requiem just has a trim in the place of the paisley here.

3) The trim of the underdress has a flowery/wavy pattern on a pink ground. It is heavily embroidered with golden metal thread. It's edged by two lines of thick gold thread (only shows at shoulders).

This is a rough sketch of the trim pattern:




After what seemed like *months* of searching, I found a trim that came _very_ close to the original (the only thing that's missing is the pinkish base). It's an antique sequin trim embroidered with gold metallic thread, mounted upon white net (which allows the paisley to show through just as in the original dress *yay*). However, I'm thinking about dyeing the base of this trim slightly pink/red...

 

 

The upper sleeves

My friend managed to find a paisley velvet that came close to the original. It is a bit finer in structure, a bit more whiteish than the original and has less of the golden vines or whatever it is on Arwen's dress, but on the whole, it is the closest I saw so far and I really like it.


NOTE on SLEEVE/SHOULDER CAPS:

Until about 4 months before RotK came out, I supported the theory that the BR has 'sleeve caps' on the shoulder parts. There were only about 3 or 4 really good, high res images of the dress out there, so nobody could tell excatly, but the sleeve caps seemed an option (there was a vivid discussion about them on ACS Yahoo group ). Even this picture didn't convince me, though I *did* wonder what was going on on the back of the dress. I came to the conclusion that the trim was just somehow 'sewn onto the back' of the dress, though it seemed terribly unprofessional...

Then, somebody found this pic out of a Japanese mag, and unless you're blind you can't really deny that what I thought to be sleeve caps is in reality the trim of the underdress that goes through underneath the armholes of the overdress - duh!

Well, I had already bought the trim for the 'sleeve caps', so I decided I *would* do them! And I'm really quite satisfied with how they turned out...it really looks like it's the trim of a (non-existing) underdress that disappears in the armholes of the outer dress....kind of.
 

 

The lower sleeves/connection

The trim used for the connection of lower and upper sleeve:

The basic red color of this trim is *exactly* the same than the one of the lower sleeves!
It matches & blends as if custom dyed. Now, the funny thing is that I had this trim sent over from India by a friend who had never seen neither the original dress nor pictures of it; and she just *couldn't* know which color my _other_ friend was going to use for the sleeves!
Though not really close to the original, it still looks lovely on this dress, I think. Yes, it's also a bit wider than the original trim, but it was so lovely I didn't want to cut or hem it....

When removing the sleeves, I will probably add another layer of the neck trim to this and to the sleeve caps to give them more of the original look; or I'll try and embroider my own trim...


....some more pictures


A little fun with Photoshop -
note this is the dress before
I changed it!



Additional Info

Shoes


Black velvet Chinese flats -*the* elven shoe! They make almost no sound and you can really glide in them ;-)


Make-up

Face:
Foundation:
"Diorskin" Compact Powder No.100 & "Diorblush" Soft Powder Blush No.941 (Natural Crimson);


Eyes:
Highlighter "Moon Beam", BeneFit
Eyeshadow "Cream Pink" , H & M
Eyeliner Précis "Cristal strass", Club des Créateurs Paris
Mascara "Extencils", black, Lancôme

Lips:
Lip Glace "Hibiscus", H & M
Pressed Face Powder #4, Anna Sui


Hair:

My own ;-) I wish the curls wouldn't "hang out" so quickly, sigh!

Jewellery

The Evenstar, custom made of pewter by a local artisan.