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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... Galadriel's Mirror Gown?

Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Apr 2 2008, 9:27pm

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Did You Ever Notice... Galadriel's Mirror Gown? Can't Post



Galadriel wears this gown when she greets the Fellowship and with Frodo at her mirror. This dress and it's cloak are made from 12 meters (about 13 yards) of embroidered and hand beaded silk chiffon! Silk chiffon is a very drapey and sheer fabric. The bodice and skirt are lined in a white silk, but the sleeves are left sheer. She wears it with an off-white belt with more beading. Alas, I forgot to pick up images of her brooch and crown, but you can find them here, along with images of her shoes!

The actual shape of the dress creates a very classic elf image, imho. The bodice is fitted with a flowy skirt and wide lower sleeves. The fabric drapes to make her seem very tall and elven.

I remember hearing once that they actually dipped this dress in a very weak green dye bath, which made the embroidery stand out a bit and kept the color right on screen (true white usually turns blue-ish on film) ...but I can't find any evidence of that online, so perhaps it's just an old wive's tale (old costumer's tale?).

This gown was part of the traveling display, but was not the gown you might have seen at FIDM or ComicCon.



When Galadriel greets the Fellowship she wears a cloak of the same material over this dress. This is a very simple piece consisting of three pieces of fabric with the sides left open for her sleeves to come through. You can see the back of the cloak on the stair above her in this image. The cloak is held in place to her dress with two leaf pins that match into the design of her brooch.





When I went looking for pictures that show the pattern of the embroidery, the only decent shot I could find was this one, which also includes Nenya. It doesn't do the fabric justice.



You can find more pictures and details over at AlleyCatScratch.

Any thoughts on this dress?


"Very funny, guys. Now get me out of this post!"

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One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Apr 2 2008, 9:38pm

Post #2 of 11 (6332 views)
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That mystical glow . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

. . . is what does it for me. I think what really makes this costume stand out is the effect it makes onscreen. The glow it has is very mysterious, and makes you feel like you're in another world.

Ash nazg durbatulūk, Ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulūk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

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Kyriel
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 3 2008, 12:10am

Post #3 of 11 (6154 views)
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That was my favorite costume from the exhibit in Boston [In reply to] Can't Post

The material was so light, and the embroidery was absolutely gorgeous up close. To think about all the work that must have gone into that dress - and that in the movie, you couldn't see the embroidery at all unless you looked really hard. Once again, I'm very grateful for the Internet and for people like you and the owner of the Alley Cat Scratch site who give these pieces the recognition they deserve.

And BTW, I certainly didn't notice any sort of green tint to the gown when I saw it in Boston.

Those left standing will make millions writing books on the way it should have been. --Incubus


_V_
Lorien


Apr 3 2008, 12:55am

Post #4 of 11 (6181 views)
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one of the best actual "costumes" in the trilogy [In reply to] Can't Post

an actual complex gown "costume" not just "travelling clothes" etc

"Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, but what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game"

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Starling
Half-elven


Apr 3 2008, 5:55am

Post #5 of 11 (6150 views)
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One of my favourite parts of FOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

is the way this gown moves as Galadriel glides down the steps - just beautiful.


weaver
Half-elven

Apr 3 2008, 6:11am

Post #6 of 11 (6172 views)
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It's a good thing she didn't have to eat in this outfit... [In reply to] Can't Post

With those sleeves, you'd be dragging some of the 13 yards of fabric in this dress right through your soup!

But it is beautiful --- and fits the actress beautifully as well.

I love the shot of her walking down the steps in this outfit -- the way it flows is perfect.

Going to my closet is really depressing, though, after seeing this!

Weaver



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 4 2008, 10:40am

Post #7 of 11 (6145 views)
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This is such a suble and stunning dress! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was fortunate to see it at the Indianapolis exhibit, and you're right... the pictures don't do it justice! The embroidery (as with the Nazgul's costumes) is exquisite! I remember hearing that this dress has been used (or dreamt of being used) for a wedding dress.

As others have said, the soft glow of her dress adds the the ethereal aura of Galadriel/Lorien shots. The dress and her hair seem to flow just as her element of water flows :)

These posts are just awesome, Arwen's daughter! Thanks so much!






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Annael
Half-elven


Apr 4 2008, 3:04pm

Post #8 of 11 (6145 views)
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not just going to the closet . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

looking in the mirror!

Alas, I was made to be a hobbit . ..


Ken Lee, tulibu dibu douchoo

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Loresilme
Valinor


Apr 5 2008, 1:21am

Post #9 of 11 (6162 views)
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Silk chiffon.... [In reply to] Can't Post

My mother comes from a generation where many women made their own clothing and even when they bought them, the fabrics were beautiful. She is always lamenting how cheaply clothing is made 'these days'. So the other day when she wondered for the zillionth time, "Where have all the beautiful fabrics gone?", I said 'To the movies!' Sly. And I went on to tell her about how much care goes into the making of movie costumes such as these.

Which prompted us to a few questions ... who do movie costumers purchase their fabrics from? Are they the same companies that 'regular' people can purchase from, those people who know how to make their own clothing? Or do they purchase fabrics from different companies, companies that only work with movie or theater people?


Merenwen
The Shire

Apr 6 2008, 6:12pm

Post #10 of 11 (6121 views)
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Probably anyone could order them [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know about this fabric here, but I remember hearing they ordered the elven cloak fabric from some local business.


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Apr 10 2008, 7:28am

Post #11 of 11 (6120 views)
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It comes from everywhere!! [In reply to] Can't Post

For a large production like this, costumers will literally scour the globe looking for fabrics. I don't know the details for LOTR, but the Star Wars prequels had fabric shoppers in London, LA, and a few other cities around the globe just looking at fabric stores that you or I could walk into. They also have access to wholesale shops that the general public can't access but that someone with a special retail license could access. Eowyn's coronation fabric was found at one such shop by fans, though we don't know if that's where the movie costumers bought it. Sometimes a special piece will be woven specifically for the production. I know the Hobbit fabrics had to be rewoven to scale. I don't know if they wove both scales or if they were able to purchase one and weave the other. From there they might buy vintage fabrics or antique decorations and incorporate those into the costumes.

The lead costumer for the Star Wars prequels released a book with beautiful pictures of her costumes and some details about all the work that went into them, including the fabric shopping. I really hope that book leads to more like it and that eventually (maybe with the Hobbit) we could see one like it for Middle Earth. Pretty please Laugh


"Very funny, guys. Now get me out of this post!"

My LiveJournal
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Screencap of the Day Schedule for April

Heading for Japan: April 4-April 15!!

 
 

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