Arch Dress
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Arwen's Arch Dress

(Also once know as the "Blue Lace Dress")

This dress is not seen in the original LOTR: FOTR movie.  However, the Visual Companion introduces Arwen standing in a moonlit arch in a beautiful light lavender dress with pale pink lining.

Since original identification we have discovered that this dress is the same as the bright blue dress with sharp pink lining.



The "two dress" mystery

There were no pictures off the set of the dress... or so we though until Jen spotted some similarities to the "blue lace" dress.  What then proceeded was a fun week of research by many members of the group.  It included everything from much staring at photo. to taking the pics into Photoshop, to info on color processing... to eventually finding just the right progression of photos to "prove" the dresses are the same.

 We'll list the beginning and the end here, but if you want more details of the  chase you can read them in the Yahoo archive.

This photo had had major color correction done on it.  The base picture (on the right) was adjusted until the back brick wall was almost white.  That leaves a very luminescent blue glowing dress with pink lining.

The right side is adjusted close to the color of the dress in the "arch" photographs.  Basically, upped the read and Magenta as far as I could go, added some yellow, took the saturation down and lightened it a bit.  It's not perfect, but it's much closer to what we see in the arch.  Also, interestingly the yellow belt barely changes color.


The real key to these dresses being the same is not just the they are the same pattern (because the elf dresses are rather close), but the progression of the photos as the dress lightened.  We see a belt added and we see the same color progression changes on Elrond.   It's amazing what you can find when you look backwards. Take the time to look at the photos again... and see what your eye missed the first 18 times we all looked at the pics.  Here, in color progression... it's obvious.

  • Starting from the arch dress...
    • the famous shot, no belt showing, but a good chance there's a waist seam
    • definitely the "Arch" dress, but note, she "might" be belted here and what Elrond is wearing (and the color of his robe - grey-mauve)
    • The dress has gone from lavender to periwinkle. Note it
      is definitely belted and the belt is yellow. Note how the train
      behaves. That's a very unique action for a fabric.
    • the smoking gun, when in the right order. Bluer than periwinkle, but neck trim makes it obviously the "blue" dress. Elrond is wearing the identical outfit. (It's the only one with that weird turtle neck.) Note how the color on his robe has changed from mauve to the brownish gray it is now. Purple was heavily added to the scene. Go back and look at the first pictures... everything has a magenta/purple cast to it  to soften it.  With a bit of the autumn yellow tone that all of Rivendell has.
  • Final
    • here's the dress now light blue, look at the training fabric and the
      sleeves, same action as arch dress



--- and now all the details

Lavender Arch dress pictures

Blue Lace dress (sic) pictures

Color as original photographed... but based on background picture is probably a little blue Color looks a lot more like the filmed dress, note wall, too red.  (Best resolution, checkout fabric) Side view of the dress, too red.
CU of the blue dress, note embroidery Another example of the embroidery, see the swirls Belt detail.  Strings of gold/yellow

Description and pattern guesses

This is a very early description since before we combined the dress... the debate is in progress.  Agreement, we need to see the dress in motion to answer these.  (Even more comments around these message numbers.)

Click on the pic to see sleeve detail  

Comments on the fabric:

Originally it has been discussed that the blue might be lace, or gauze or something metallic.  It's depended on which version.

Here's the latest guess about it being crushed silk taffeta or lightweight Pongé silk

.... we're close if not there.

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This page was last updated 04/22/08