Coronation Gown
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Arwen's Green Coronation Gown

 aka Arwen's Ceremonial Gown

Rev 3.5 - August 2004

Two part dress with two part sleeves.  (The dress is the same approximate pattern as her Requiem and Blood Red.  Just slightly different sleeves and fit.) 

The over gown is a sea foam green velvet silk jumper.  It is trained.  The neck line is a narrow curved  band.

The under dress (parts that show), and upper sleeves are constructed of this heavy white lace.   The wide boat neckline is framed by a beaded band aprox 3" wide.


Arwen's Coronation Gown.  Note: that there are two layers of lower sleeve, the silk velvet and a crinkle shear inside.

The sleeves are the standard two part sleeve, tight on the top, with lace and beads in this case.  The wider sleeves are two layers, one of velvet and a shearer layer.

Arwen Coronation Gown Index

Dress Details

Over gown/Jumper

The top layer of the dress is constructed from green silk velvet.  The original news articles describe it as "Lime", but it is closer to a sea foam green, not too much different than the  picture to the left.  There are 3 main pattern pieces to the dress.  The front hangs as one piece from the thin shaped neck band and there are two pieces in the back that train out a foot or so.

The velvet is attached onto a shaped band of green and silver brocade with a mini paisley pattern.  The bottom of this band is edged with a very fine (1/8th inch), silver metal multi-strand chain stitch* and then a row of  mini frosted sequins.  The facing is made of the identical brocade, so the velvet is sandwiched between it . (Note when reconstructing it, cut a shaped piece, not something on the bias and shape it, that will blouse out.) The band fits on the shoulders and dips in front so that the under band is plainly seen.

The over gown does not have fitted arm holes, instead the dress is just open on the sides from about 4 inches off the shoulder to slightly below breast level.  The fabric is just turned under quickly and lightly hand stitched. Each turn is about a quarter inch.  On standee pictures,  the sleeve area looked just serged, so the dress may have not quite been done then.   The hem is finished with just a light zig-zag, no facing.  There is an invisible zipper. 

* Note: It is confirmed as multi stand chain stitch.


The entire structure of the underdress is mounted on a wide shaped band at the neck that is about 3" wide.  It is shallower than the outer dress and the outer edge extends to the outer edge of the shoulder.

The under dress appears to go all the way down.  (The line is smooth on the velvet, so we assume that something is acting as a slip.)  The parts of the dress that show, the upper sleeves and the band are all made from a very elaborate beaded lace.  However, if you examine pieces carefully, you will see that the lace is mounted on an inexpensive white nylon knit fabric.  The lace ends where it will not "show" any more.

There is an invisible zipper.  (So, two zippers!!!!!)

This lace is very expensive.  It is beaded with these frosty bugles and mini pears.  It its backed onto another fabric for strength.  (Probably the white nylon.)

The tight upper sleeve ends just above the elbow. What looks like a wide layer of trim is only beading and cord mimicking trim.  The band is about 3 inches wide.  Each side of the false trim is delimitated by a row of very narrow silver metallic braid with short, frosted white, bugle beads.  There are bits of swirls beaded into this trim area using mini pearls (like the fabric) as well as bits of the braid and the bugles.  (We still do not quite have the pattern down.)

The lower sleeves are giant, the same green velvet fabric as the jumper.  They look like they are shaped like the BR dress.  Guess is that these are half circles, or a tad wider.  Note the way they are pushed back so the sleeve ends probably extend to at least the finger tips.  They may be longer.   The outer sleeve is unlined and finished with the zig-zag edge.  There is a second inner layer of sleeves, pale lemon silk mousseline.  Both edges are finished with a fine zig-zag also.  There is a texture to it, crinkle and metallic, but still semi opaque.  The seam is on the inside of the arm.

The neck band is the same fabric as the sleeve, though it is probably layered both with the nylon fabric and a heavier interfacing to support the dress.  Each edge is ended with the braid that has the bugles on either side of it.  The same pattern of swirled bits of trim and beads is repeated within this "trim" area.

Overview Pictures

Pictures on a blue background (or convention center are from Comic Con 2004)

(or high rez here)

Pictures in this section where there is a fortress wall were taken at FIDM, 2004.  Courtesy of Secret Elf
(or high rez here) Very good for the upper sleeve detail and bits on the crown.
Back of dress.  Note two zippers.

The silk velvet

Train from the side
(or High rez here)
(or High rez here) Back of sleeve
Seam on lower sleeve from inside of the arm Outer view of the sleeve and the beadwork
Sleeve seam.  You can see the seam on the inside Same shot darkened to show the texture of the inside layer
(or high rez here)    
silk mousseline undersleeve.  Note the slight metallic sheen to it as well as the wrinkles.
Hem is just cut and zig-zagged Note ziz-zag finish on both sleeve
Full soft drape of the sleeve from the inside
See the full drape of the seam.  Also, note how long the train is... also the length of the sleeves from this side view. Just the hems, the hem and sleeve are just ziz-zagged.

Description from "Art of ROTK", Ngila Dickson

"Fran and Peter had asked that the coronation gown be green, to represent new beginnings.  So for the dye house it was the beginning of a long search for the perfect green--it had to suit Liv, while not being too bright or too dark.  The fabric is silk velvet, the signature fabric for Arwen.  The neckline and sleeve decoration is heavily beaded silk, overdyed, and then overbeaded again, to give richer design detail--all in silver.  The undersleeve is silk mousseline, dyed a soft lemon  Somehow the lemon added an ethereal quality to the arms and hands that a more matched shade couldn't achieve.  It speaks to the organic nature of costume making - keeping an open mind and constantly experimenting until all parts come together. "

Detailed info from Sidhe

Fabric and Colors

It's hard to get an exact color because of all the dying on this fabric.   Also the nap reacts quite different to the dye than the backing so there are color and luminescent issues as well.  None of our photos were able to get the color perfect and we often had to photograph the dress under very weird lighting situations.  The move shots have all been color corrected.

Check out Kathy's study page for more details on Arwen's Coronation gown:

1st Standee Photos

The very first standee that was released for LOTR combined shots from multiple movies.  The most amazing photo on it was Arwen's Coronation gown.  This is where we fell in love with the dress.  However, as we got to see the dress in person, we discovered how much the photographs had been Photoshoped.

 We use a few up in the fabric section that were not altered heavily. The rest of the standee photos are here. 

Warning, photo on standee has had a major retouch job on the collar using Photoshop to blur lines and change colors.  The neckband has been "adjusted" using "rubber stamping".

This is the original picture that folks based all their early re-creations of the dress on.  In actuality

Thank you to Lenara for photos of her standee.


  Detail of bodice area. Note now the jumper is  open until below her bust.  (The edge looks serged, but it is just roughly turned under.)  Ignore the left side... it's been photoshopped far too much to know what is really there.
Shoulder showing both layers of trim and the top of the sleeve.  Edges appear to be pearled on both layers.  The detailed on the band of the outer dress is WRONG, totally photoshopped in. Darkened to bring up more of the design contract.  The brightest spots are either pearls (on edge) or mini sequins accenting the designs.

Barbie doll pictures are all together at the bottom... dress to crown to pattern.

We originally called this the "wedding" dress based on a report of an "E!" reporter, as ROTK approached, name change went to "Ceremonial" to match a catalog.  However the ROTK art book calls it Coronation, so we have changed it's title.  No more changes




See pattern and find out how to do the banner with
These and more patterns over in the banner section of our scrapbook, under the prop closest.  Multiple banner building techniques are available.  Just read though all the tips.

Butterfly Crown

- separate page

Click on the pic for a whole page on Arwen's Butterfly Crown

Barbie Doll Arwen

- separate page

Click on the pic for a whole page on Arwen Barbie



Exhibit pictures throughout this section thanks to Secret Elf, Garfeimao, Heather, Jedi Kai, Kelldar, Michelle P.,  Silvara and Rae

Check out Kathy's study page for more details on Arwen's Coronation gown:

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This page was last updated 04/22/08