Star Wars: Fit for a Queen



The Phantom Menace: As a young monarch, Amidala often finds others underestimating her abilities. As a sign of her commitment to her people and her capacity to rule Naboo, she wears extremely formal, regal robes. The size of her gowns make her appear larger and the make-up hides her youth. While sitting in state, Amidala wears a magnificent crimson dress, a color which is a traditional symbol of royal authority. The gown is accented with gold embroidery and shed potolli fur cuffs, and seven sein jewels illuminated by plasma gas circle the hem. The escoffiate headpiece provides gold faceframes to border Amidala's face, and the famous Jewel of Zenda rests on her forehead to complete her traditional Naboo look. In this striking gown, Amidala is an image of majesty, strength, and honesty.

Design: For all of the Queen's gowns, Iain McCaig designed costumes with the ability to disguise Natalie Portman. "Because we were going to have one actress playing a duel role in the film, we had to design costumes for her as the Queen that would serve to hide her identity." The complexity and size of the dress, however, lead to a difficult, involved construction. McCaig suggested to George Lucas that they design a dress with 'lanterns' in it, and while Lucas responded skeptically, he allowed the dress to be attempted. Consequently, for eight weeks and for a cost of $60,000 the costuming department strived to make this dress work. Construction began with an undergarment shaped like an ice-cream cone that was fitted perfectly to Natalie Portman. Several layers of canvas were needed to not only maintain the bell shape, but to support the weight of the wires and lights connected to the batteries necessary to light-up the dress. And while the costume was originally going to be velvet, lighting issues mandated a change to silk. The headdress was a complex construction as well. Intricate gold work covered the headdress while vintage red lace was used as an overlay on the blade-shaped side panels. Similar to the Eastern influence of many of the other TPM gowns, Trisha Biggar felt this ensemble had a "a sort of Chinese Imperial feel."


Promotional Photos


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Detail Shots

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Screenshots/Stills


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Behind the Scenes

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Concept Art

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