If you want the Force to be with your marriage, what better way is there than emulating the style of Padmé Amidala’s wedding dress? Okay, so that may be slightly ambitious, as the dress is very complicated. But, it would make a beautiful tribute to the film series, or a wedding on 4th May. However, before we get too carried away, let’s look at the dress the Star Wars character wore to her wedding.
The forbidden love between Padmé, a queen and senator, and Anakin, a Jedi, is reminiscent of great love stories. Think, for example, of the love between Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde.
Star Wars: Attack of The Clones was the second instalment of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. The award-winning actress Natalie Portman played Padmé Amidala – she was just 16 when George Lucas cast her. In this film, the relationship between Padmé and Anakin develops.
The pair met ten years previously and now, with Padmé’s life in danger, Anakin is sent to protect her. It is not “love at first sight”, but rather a gentle tension that blossoms into the forbidden relationship.
However, even though Padmé swore herself off the distraction of love, and Jedis are not permitted to form romantic attachments, the two soon fall completely for each other. They marry in a short scene, long enough for viewers to become enamoured with her wedding dress. (Incredibly, for how short this scene is, the making of her wedding dress probably cost around $60,000!)
Padmé Amidala’s breathtakingly intricate wedding dress in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is similar to the style of Edwardian-era gowns. The dress, in modern terminology, would probably be “A line” with princess seams. Princess seams became popular during the 1870s after the introduction from renowned designer and founder of Haute Couture, Charles Frederick Worth.
Edwardian-era gowns, and specifically wedding gowns, reflected the era also known as “La Belle Époque” or the “Gilded Age”. This lent itself to art, fashion and culture as there was an emphasis on opulence and extravagance, which can certainly be said of the gown in this scene.
The outfit, designed by Trisha Biggar, consists of three pieces: the underdress, the overcoat, and the veil.
The underdress and overcoat
The shape of the dress is really classic and not too dissimilar to Kate Middleton’s when she married Prince William. However, the simple floor-length silhouette features a complicated pattern of embroidery. Battenburg lace adorns to the silk tulle underdress. Trisha actually found the lace for the dress on an old bedsheet in Australia. Ironically, the lace is Italian and probably made in the filming location used for the wedding scene!
Trisha requested the help of Sandra Fullerton and her team to cut the lace and applique it onto the dress. As the fabric was limited, the team made 300 extra yards of French knit braid to piece the dress together. They then added hundreds of seed pearls by hand.
In the scene the dress looks incredibly poignant and romantic. Its heavy detail and beadwork lights up in the sunset, as the camera pans to reveal Biggar’s incredible craftsmanship.
In fact, there was so much detail in the dress that they only completed one sleeve before filming began! The sleeves were made of chiffon and was so fine that the fabric upon which the detailing sat was nearly invisible. “The final effect was a gown with very simple lines, with an antique feel to it,” Trisha has said, “but at the same time it was quite intricate, and you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was made of.”
The veil closely resembles a Juliet cap, which was a type of headwear popular in the early 20th century. Made of Maltese lace, there are embellishments of Edwardian wax flowers and beaded seed pearls. It is a terrifically delicate item and would have taken hours upon hours of painstaking work to complete.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother, wore a vaguely similar headpiece at her wedding to the Duke of York. However, it was nowhere near as intricate, making this cap and veil from Star Wars truly unique.
The costume designer for the Star Wars trilogy created some truly magnificent gowns and outfits. In total, Biggar designed 68 different outfits for Padmé, and many more that didn’t make it on screen. Therefore, she knew exactly what to create when tasked with creating the senator’s wedding dress.
Biggar was careful to make Padmé’s outfits less than formal than those of the previous film. Moreover, the outfits could be more feminine, and more casual as the film progressed.
She designed clothes for more characters other than just Padmé in the wedding scene. She carefully echoed Darth Vader’s cloak in the costume for Anakin Skywalker to foreshadow the story’s twist. Furthermore, she added leather to give the young Jedi a bit of an edge.
Although she was a prolific designer, she unfortunately never received critical recognition. This is not particularly unusual, as sci-fi films rarely receive accolades for awards outside their genre. For more specific awards, for example the Saturn Award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, she won multiple times (she won for Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, and received a nomination for Revenge of the Sith).
Make Your Own Star Wars Wedding
Above all, the wedding dress will be the star outfit of the show. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with other costumes. The groom can wear something akin to Anakin’s wedding clothes. See how many members of the bridal party you can convince to dress up as Stormtroopers!
Finally, accessorise yourself, your venue and your food with objects from Star Wars. For example, name each table at your wedding breakfast after different characters. On the other hand you could ask your baker to make a BB-8 cake. You can even use unusually coloured flowers to add to the space vibe.