This is the dress with smallest pic evidence of all, beating even the White WETA or Lavender Bead. Unlike these two,it *has* been in the actual movie cuts, if only for the blink of an eye.

There's a quote from Liv Tyler that _could_ be referring to the Cranberry Dress:

Q: Since you guys are talking about wardrobe a lot, out of all three films, what was your favorite piece?

TYLER: Oh my goodness! One of my favorite dresses from [The Two Towers] was this incredible dress that you don't even see, because they're in this tight on my face. (She puts one hand below her chin and the other above her head, as if framing a close-up.) But it was this incredibly beautiful red velvet dress that [Costume Designer] Ngila [Dickson] got the fabric for in Paris and it was like a gazillion dollars. It was this incredible, like (she motions to her own red shirt) much deeper than this, like a wine-colored red, velvet braid. It just was so beautiful. But they only used the close-ups so you don't see it.

The description would match the dress so far, also the appearance in TTT and the scene context. This would be the dress Arwen is wearing when Aragorn is washed ashore after his fall of the cliffs, and she comes to him in a vision, kissing him back to life. Unfortunately, screen caps from this scene show only a tiny bit of the trim, if anything at all.

~Click to enlarge~

Then, there's the Topps picture, a BTS shot from the backside of one of the Topps collector's cards.

I've enlarged the original pic a bit....

The Designsketch....

~Click to enlarge~

And finally....

Ngila Dickson with what we believe is the Cranberry Dress
(Picture from Wedding Dresses Magazine)

So, what I think I can tell from the sketch and the two pics above...
(Ngila and TOPPS, the close-ups aren't really helpful here)

- The dress is a one piecer.
There's no visible overdress (no straps that cross the wide trim, no armholes). Besides, and under- and overdress in the same color would be...not very bright,eh? Okay, the BR's underdress is also dark blue, but the sleeves have a different color at least. The Cranberry's constructed like the Requiem/BR/Coronation Jumpers, just with the sleeves attached to itself, not to an underdress.

- There's a little insert (or something like that) at the neck.
Clearly visible in the close-ups but also in the TOPPS picture, not on the sketch though. There's a stripe of something red mixed with gold above the trim. Probably about 0,5 -1 cm wide. In the close-ups,it does even look a bit like the paisley thing of the BR to me. So maybe it's an insert on the inside of the dress, maybe it's an underdress peeking out (I don't think so but it's possible), or maybe this is the edge of the trim that has been left to show a bit more in this place?

- The neckline is scooped, although it looks slightly squared in the sketch.
The Topps pic shows it's perfectly rounded. Also,the trim is probably about 4-5 cm wide. Probably turned under, since the sleeve trim on the Ngila pic looks even wider (most of Arwen's other dresses have the same trim on neck & sleeves, so I assume this is the case here as well). The trim has one straight and one irregular edge, the straight edge is always at the bottom, the irregular one pointing upwards (very good to see on the Ngila pic).

- The sleeves are very full, probably full circles.
They extend to about ankle level in the sketch and are pushed back from her wrists. So, most probably full circles or again the 'eliptic' shape as I call it,which is also seen on the Coronation dress. They are probably (?) lined with matching material.

- The skirt is becoming *very* wide at the bottom.
It flares out nicely to the sides though I don't think the gown is trained.


Okay..I'm convinced someone from New Line Cinema is reading this page!
They have put the Cranberry Dress on display in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) just to prove everything wrong that I thought I had found out about it!

Sarina sent in this picture that she discovered - thank you so much! Even if it's only small, we can see glimpses on the full dress. I'm dying for bigger pics, folks!!!!!

So,new observations:

* The gown HAS a train! It's about as long as the Coronation train I'd say. According to Cat from Alleycatscratch, who has studied the dress at the exhibit, there's something going on with this train and the side seams to produce a backswept efffect. Jenny la Fleur, who has also seen the dress in person, has allowed me to use her sketches of the back of the dress.

So, it's not quite a gore in the back, but you see what must be going on there....kind of. Best you check the study page over at Alleycat for an extensive description, since the folks there have seen the dress with their own eyes. I can just rely on descriptions.

* The sleeves are lined! Not telling from the picture but from descriptions. They're bag-lined with a red silk fabric. In shape, they resemble the Coronation sleeves (okay,we kinda knew that before).

* The trim is silver! Both around the neckline and the sleeves. It is detailed with gold and small red beads. Oh, and it's bullion trim, but we knew that before ;-)

* The little red neck insert has been confirmed and described as being beaded with gold thread and red bugles.

* The neckline is so wide that it must be slipping off the shoulder if Liv moved to much...

* The upper sleeves are Raglan sleeves.

Well...basically nothing new except the train. Oh and yes...people are pretty sure this dress is one piece, no separate over- and underdress. That means now for my dress....

I will have to change the sleeves, something I wanted to do anyway, because they're not wide enough. Unfortunately this Cranberry velvet is only 36'' wide, so I'll probably have to make it two-part with a seam. I'll wait for more pictures of the original though to see where exactly the seam sits. Also, the sleeves will have to be lined with the proper material.
I plan to insert gores into the sides of the skirt part to make it wider. As I said, the velvet comes only 36'' wide, so that was the main problem while constructing the skirt. I won't probably make a train though cause I want to wear this gown for normal occasions - that means outdoor.
The reason why I don't make a whole new dress is my neckline. I like it so much, I think it turned out wonderful. It sits on the shoulders
just perfectly and I don't think I can create that effect once more. I'm having a crazy idea about the trim that I can't really describe, let's just see how it turns out ;-) And of course I will have to make the little red insert....

For my Cranberry Gown, I'm going to use the silk velvet that you can see in the background here. It comes already dyed, so I just *had* to take the chance and make this dress out of it.

The good thing with the Cranberry Dress is that it's not as LotR-ish as the others and thus it can also be worn for non LotR-related occasions. Okay, Arwen's other dresses to a certain degree as well, but I really won't go to a Ren-faire again with a long, trained gown The Cranberry's easier to move in than Arwen's usual under/overdress combinations.
Because it has only such a short screen time and there are only few decent photos, people won't immediately recognize it as an Arwen dress and tell me what I could have done better or different ;-)

Update 27.06.2004: My velvet arrived yesterday! Yay! Now I'm all set to start, and I hope a nice trim comes across my way soon! :)

Update 13.09.2004:
I found a nice trim on eBay that might work for the Cranberry. It has the curved edge, and when you age it down a bit, I think it'll be perfect:

It's from Heritagetrading, who are also on eBay. At least it matches the velvet, as you can see in the background pic

Update 15.10.2004

I cut the basic dress today, sans sleeves. They'll come the next days. I ended up not using McCalls 4491 but a mixture between a self made pattern and a commercial one (but also drawn by someone, not from a certain brand or company). The problem with the McCalls pattern was that, with the princess seams erased, my fabric was not wide enough to cut the full skirt. I'd have had to insert gores to the sides that would have reached up to my knees! I didn't want that,so I decided to go another way. The dress has only side seams now, and a back seam.

Another change concerns the trim.

I held the trim against the fabric today for a test,and it looks nice but....a bit too new. I tried to age it down, which worked to a certain degree,but...somehow I don't like the look of it. I have this wonderful antique sequinned trim that I bought months ago (not from Heritagetrading) with that dress in mind, and when I tried that, it looked much better. It has a more silvery note with gold accents.

The left one is the antique trim, the right one is the one from Heritagetrading. The colors are closest on the second pic and on the one above.

Update 23.10.2004

The dress is finished. I have to take some fancy pics the next days

The dress is not yet fitted in the waist section here...

These were taken in Switzerland in 2005.



All original work is protected by intellectual property laws. No copyright infringement is intended - copyrighted images are being used for costume study purposes only. © for images from 'The Lord of the Rings' movies is with New Line Cinema / the Saul Zaentz Company. Names of places, people and things from 'The Lord of the Rings' books are © The Tolkien Estate. Site design, graphics, and content is copyright © Ela unless otherwise indicated.