Mourning Gown
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Arwen's Mourning Dress

(or here for high rez)

V2.0 - June 2004

(aka Black Dress or red insert at neck or popcorn dress)

A dark blue silk velvet gown.  Worn during the flash forward where Elrond tells her she will be all alone.  First appears standing beside an "old" Aragorn laid out on his tomb.  Then she is veiled while the wind whips up.  Finally, she is seen walking alone in the woods.  She appears to be wearing a black or other dark color velvet cloak or mantle.

Arwen's Mourning Gown Index


Midnight blue silk velvet gown that is reminiscent of a human cotehardie mixed with elven styles.  Wider and deeper neckline than most. A curved "V" neck.  It opens at center with a triangle wedge of bright red fabric.  A number of buttons run down the front.  Red sash belt, Wide elven sleeves.

Gown is quite fitted in the upper torso.  The row of small gold buttons (11) goes down the front stopping at a low pointed waist.  This is fake front (confirmed) so there will be an invisible zipper in the back.  The gown has about a two foot train and lots of fabric pools around the sides and back.  It is much wider than the BR dress.  It either has large gores or the skirt is cut separately like the prolog dress using the shaping of an umbrella skirt.  (The placement of the belt, adds some credence to it's construction without gores theory.)


The curved "V" neckline swoops lower than any other of her dresses. Thick, gold antique trim covers most of the neckline.  It's very thick with multiple colors. 

Dead center there is a bright splash of red.  It is a gap where the dress opens even further. This red fabrics looks to be modern stretch in photo, however, in person it is a soft red silk, aged heavily.  Fabric guestimate is silk satin chamoose. Matches the belt.

Neck edge trimming looks to be about 2 1/2 inches wide and made from heavy gold bullion trim that is on a red background.  The top edge has been turned under

The fitted sleeves are narrow on top.  There is a wide band of the neckline trim on the upper arm.  The straight edge is on the upper side  Below the band,  they widen out, much like the Blood Red dress.  The sleeves also appear to be dark blue velvet

There is a red sash (about 2" wide).  It is knotted at the low "V" of the waist and the ends drop below her knees.  It is a mid-weight fabric - silk satin chamoose.  The tails of this can be seen blowing in the wind in the movie. When the sash isn't positioned perfectly, you can see the seam between the bodice and the skirt.

She also wears a long shear veil of  blue-black silk chiffon.  It is a long rounded rectangle that hang down to at least mid-thigh in back. 

The veil is held on with a solid, golden colored band, square edged. The crown is about an 1 1/2" wide at the front.  It comes to a point.  There is a motif imprinted into the center section.  It is the white tree of Gondor.  The pattern extends down the side.  It narrows down into a band between 3/4 of an inch for the rest of it. There is some sort of flower/vine/leaf pattern on it.

She is seen wearing a long, hooded dark cloak in the woods in the tail of this scene.   It appears to be velvet.  Hood may be "Kilsdale" type. Some spec that it is a mantle (hoodless) and what we are seeing is her hair.  Other spec is that it is her Midnight cloak.

Great CU of top of the dress, can even see the shear weave of the veil fabric.   FIDM 2003 Closer, clearer view of the neck.  The color here seems to be the closest to accurate
or click here for high rez
Side view, good shot of the sleeves.
or click here for high rez


  Note Allen Lee's wonderful background sketch here.  
  (or high rez here)  

Sleeve Shapes

This sleeve is not nearly as full as most of the elven sleeves.  It is bag lined in navy silk.

Maggie's markup of the sleeve shape The shaping looks smoother here.
Maggie's pattern for the sleeve  

Sash and waist detail

Belt is placed too high here.  Look at the arrows in the expanded version of this picture to see the drop waist seam.  (NM window display) Belt rides too high here which means this is probably just a sash and not something that laces in the back and positions perfectly each time

Button Detail

There are 11 antique gold buttons.

antiqued gold buttons run down the front of the dress   buttons are attached at the center seam (for show only not function)
Preliminary of the button turned out to be really close


Picture of button in gold tone. Maggie found it best to antique the buttons to darken them

We've found the original source of some of the buttons:  Hushco buttons.  We've bough extra buttons, so you can get them by contacting us at or Husco


As with many of the dresses, the hem is just cut off and finished.  This one is

Edge of hem, enhanced... it's a very fine serge/zig-zag.  It's thicker than a standard serge, but that dense.  It does appear to be a bit scalloping, even in person... something beyond just stretched fabric. From the NM exhibit.  Notice how the edge appears pulled out.  Instead of a scallop, this may just be the pull from a very thin silk velvet, especially if the differential was set on the serger.
Drawing of the hem line detail from FIDM 2003  
Note, the length of the hem at the back and side... HOWEVER, it is floor length in from of the toes.   


Work area

Please do not copy any pictures out from this area.  We are working on correcting them... and if these get out in the wild... we're never get the corrections out there properly

mourning dress trim study:

Study in progress <here>



Study pages:

Trim studies, pattern modification, muslins and more

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This page was last updated 04/22/08