Arwen's Bridge Dress
V3.3, December 2004
“For you I will forsake the immortal
life of my people”
Identifying photo: http://www.theonering.net/movie/scrapbook/large/1218
A romantic dress for an elven princess. Arwen is first seen in this dress wearing
the dress in the library where she consoles Aragorn after his confrontation
with Boromir and the sword. The cloak wrapped across her shoulders obscure
the full magnificence of the dress.
Moments later they meet on a bridge backlit, by moonlight. A
waterfall rushes in the background. She presents him with Evenstar and
vows to give up her immortal life to be with him. Then... the kiss.
Long beaded white gown. It has a deep, but narrow cowl neck.
There are two layers. The inner dress ends at floor level. The
outer dress has a narrow train that looks to be almost 2 feet long.
The dress is fitted at the waist and then loosens to sweep out for
the skirt. The sleeves leave the shoulder bare. They fall
to to almost her knees.
The bridge scene was shot with an amber filter when the shot favored
Arwen. The dress at first glance appears yellow but that is simply all the
embroidery. The base fabric appears to be off white but you have to
take into account the fabric backing would change the colour of the shear
fabric and the lighting could also make the fabric appear lighter than it
is. The cowl fabric is different from the sleeves and body of the gown.
The shawl she wears might be the
Halo Cloak, but it doesn't look quite as
fuzzy. So, she may have two version of a long triangle shawl.
This looks a bit softer, it could be a silk chiffon vs. something fancier.
The dress is only seen from extreme close up or a very long shot so we
had to study a lot more of her dresses to be able to interpret the little we
see of this dress. Because of this, as we step though the detailed
description, will refer to the photos to support the conclusions.
The weight of the beads and a pull on the back of the gown pulls the
fabric away from the breast causing a major case of gaping just above the
breast. The shawl hides the problem in the library scene and careful
shooting on the bridge also hides the problem. This may be why we don't
have a good front shot of the dress.
- The dress is two layers, with a narow but long train on the outer
- This can be seen in several pictures, best in the long shots where
she reaches towards Aragorn. The under layer stays near her legs.
The outer layer stretches back quite a bit. There appears to be at
least a 2 foot train.
- The outer layer is made from a pre-beaded off-white crinkle chiffon
or georgette fabric
- In the DVD documentaries, Liv discusses how much noise the dress made
while she was "floating" into the room in her elven room. There is
no special boarder on the bottom so, there would be beads down there.
- It is embroidered with gold threads. The thread is shiny like rayon
natesh thread or silk embroidery thread. It is not metallic. The
embroidery is a repeating random pattern embroidery of curly q's. In
the enclosed circles, a golden toned pearl or gold luster bead sits on
what appears to be a fabric sequin. It is thicker than the average
sequin. It is not a round cut piece of fabric because they all lay flat,
there is no curling.
- For reproducing the effect a mat gold luster sequin or a mat clear
sequin. They may be beads but that would really add to the weight of the
- There is one close up of the fabric (as Arwen hands evenstar to
Aragorn). Not much can be seen. What we do see is the
chiffon fabric and the knubby little sequin beads. This texture is
what make the fabric appear like a lace in some shots.
- Pattern for the sequins: Bring the needle up though the center
of a sequin. Add 3 white iridescent seed beads to the needle.
Bring the needed back down through the fabric just above the top of the
sequin. Tie off. Go on to next.
- Pure guestimate. These are about 1-1 1/2 inches apart.
- Cannot tell if there are any other bead patterns on the dress as
- The underlayer is an opaque silk, probably china silk, but this is
just a guess. It is used only for the body of the gown, not the neck
or the sleeves.
- Guestimate. The drape looks right and it's an inexpensive silk
easily attainable from India.
- Seams, sides for sure, that's how it is fitted. Only partially
fitted that way.
- What little we can see from the front, there are not princess seams.
Also, it is unlikely they would cut this kind of fabric. They
could easily fit it along the sides to the waist. We do see the
fabric is tight under the bust. (kiss pictures.)
- Where there is a lot of evidence for invisible zippers in other
outfits , this dress may not have one. There is a long tie in back
at the waist.
- The dress is fitted by means of a narrow tie in the back. It
pulls and shapes, so the dress will be loose enough to slip on without
adding a zipper.
- There's no knowledge of what the tie is made of, since we only see
it with the statue, and they're not good for details.
- The way this dress behaves, we're guessing it's just the 2 long
pieces, no side gores, no separate waist... because we do not see a
belt. Also, in the long shot of the kiss, the outer fabric is
pulled away from her body above the waist.
- What we're probably seeing is the effect of the tie pulling the
- There's a good chance that the dress is only made of two widths of
fabric. We never see it pulling out in large amounts. It
just has that wonderful train.
- Extra reasoning might be that it is very expensive beaded fabric
(and an early created dress) so budget was was tighter.
- Neckline a very low and wide scoop. It is draped with a narrow cowl.
- The outer layer dress is probably built on a reinforced narrow strap
on the shoulder... very much like the outer layer of the 2 part dresses,
but the two layers would be connected in this case. The cowl
neckline would just be lightly attached on top. Given how square
the neckline shows up on the statue... this shoulders might be mostly
straps... and the cowl neck just hides this
- The under side of the neck band is probably no more than 1 to 1 1/2
inches thick. The cowl drape would need to be tacked in to keep it
narrower on the shoulder straps.
- The sleeves are almost rectangular. They dangle straight down
most of the way to her knees. Only the bottom 2/3s of the sleeve is
attached. It is higher attached in back, and starts lower in front.
- The sleeve pattern can best be seen in the two kissing photos that
are medium shots. While these are fuzzy, you can see how much of
the shoulder the sleeve leaves bare.
- The length of the sleeves can be seen in any of the bridge shots.
Since the fabric is the same, you need to look close but the edge is
- The long sleeve are cut up the center on the outside. This slit
extends all the way up above her elbow. Guessing that the inside is
stitched closed w/ a serge or French seam.
- The outside cut and be seen in the kissing close-up photos.
It's dead down the center by the way that the fabric pulls are her arms
come forward. There is no seam that can be seen on her shoulder,
so it assumed that the tube is closed on the under arm side like a
normal sleeve. It would have a clean finish. After seeing
the kiss photos, if you look closing at the closest bridge shot we have,
you can see the arm slit there too, just very faintly.
|Here where we see the tie, very long
tail. The tie fits the gown closer
||Close-up of the tie. That's folds
in the fabric, not a slit.
Thanks to Ela for the statue photos:
More in the Hair Jewel section
Bridge Dress Photographs
- Glamour shot - golden candles
- Golden lit, looking sideways
- Approaching Aragorn by the shards
- Standing behind Aragorn in the Library
- Standing together on the bridge - Close
- Bridge shot, further away
- Bridge shot, very far away
- Bridge silhouette - closing in for the kiss
- Bridge silhouette - the kiss
- Kiss, very long shot
- Concept Artwork of the bridge scene
- Close two shot, favoring Arwen
- ECU Insert of Evenstar being handed to Aragorn, hand obscuring
- Weta statue of Aragorn and Arwen - presenting evenstar on bridge
- Arwen’s hair is held back by what looks
like a delicate wire necklace turned into hair jewels.
- The side hair clips are decorated with a triple set of flower shaped
design. The top two "flowers" have 4 petals each. The bottom
has 3 petals. There looks to be some kind of a flat elongated gem in
the center, but given the resolution, these could just be open silver
loops. The two flowers that have 4 petals each have a chain attached that
goes across the back of the hair.
- the back hair jewel is formed from two different silver chains going between
the hair clips.
- The outer (top) layer is shorter and a tad heaver. It has little
metal fringes... about 1" long.
- The underlayer looks like loops of chain connected onto the main chain.
There are another four thin chains hanging from the thick chain &
overlapping each other in 2" by 1 1/2" drapes at the outsides, and
overlapping. There are another two chain drapes in the center that
hang twice as far, and at the outside end there is a 3rd length that
(estimate, since can't see) is twice as long as the inner two.
- A guess on making this: It looks specifically like some of the
hair jewels in "Ever After" Specifically about the Hair bits Arwen is
the Bridge scene in Rivendell... This look could be make with inexpensive
hair clip with little circles in them and two necklaces from the Sari
district. Also, both drapes in the back could be made easily
These may just be paint lines, but they're close...
Thanks to Ela for the statue photos:
- Close two shot, favoring Arwen
- Close two shot, favoring Aragorn
- Close two shot, angled a bit more - hair jewel in focus
- Close on the Hair jewel, back of Arwen- 2 shot, different focus
- Very close on hair jewel
Section editors: Ela, Johanna & Cat