I am working on recreating Arwen's Chase Dress from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring for the premiere of The Hobbit later this year.I'll be in New Zealand for the premiere so I'm wanting to have the highest level of accuracy that reasonable possible. So let the nit-picking begin! Now since I'm a linear thinker, let's start from the top, shall we?
Hair - While my hair is the right length and colour, I have nowhere near the right thickness. All my hair would be taken up in one braid! Arwen sports 3 Herringbone braids as well intertwined with her half-updo. I don't want to do a full wig as I feel that's unnecessary. One friend suggested getting creating 3 Herringbone braids out of hair pieces/extensions and attaching them to a comb I can stick into my hair. Not being a hair person, I'm not exactly sure how that'll work. Thoughts?
Ears - This will be the one thing I may forgo if my budget gets too tight. But ideally I'll go with Aradani's silicone elf ears - Small Silicone Elf Ear Tips
While doing a cast and mould would be the most accurate, due to a hearing disability I have, I'm very nervous getting any chemicals/plugging up my ears outside of a professional arena (i.e if industry professionals were casting my ears for a film). Besides, Aradani's ears look perfectly fine from what I can tell.
Makeup - There's two charts online where they actually listed the products used for Arwen's makeup.
I'm not going to go THAT accurate (especially since everyone's skin is different and what worked for Liv Tyler won't necessarily work for me. That and half of those products don't exist anymore. But still, it might make for a fun blog post to go to Mac Cosmetics and see if they can do an Arwen makeover. ). Though I am debating doing the little scar on the cheek. Hmmm....
Evenstar Necklace - Got it! I received one from The Noble Collection as a birthday gift.
Dress Bodice - Fabric - Fine dove grey leather suede about 1/16th of an inch thick. The suede is closest in colour to DMC floss #318. I've been on the hunt for this fabric for a little while now. I've found some decent micro and ultrasuedes (I will admit I've been having more luck with upholstery fabric than clothing suede). But nothing has quite popped out yet to say, AH! That's it! That and I have no idea how much fabric I would need once I actually find it.
Pattern - I know it's going to have to be heavily modified, but I bought Simplicity pattern #4940. (I'm not sure if there's a better pattern out there now. I was going by information quite a few years old.) It has princess seams that meet up with shoulder seams.
I can't figure out how the bodice fastens. Apparently the London exhibit confirmed there was a zipper in the front with a top hook and eye. Though I'm not seeing any evidence of an invisible zipper. There is also said to be boning in the bodice, but I'm not sure where, how much, and how far it extends.
Collar - It is a continuous rolled collar with a lace overlay. I've heard various ways that people have achieved the effect of the "lace" on the collar, but does anyone know how it was actually done on the original costume?
Upper Sleeve - After being baseball stitched onto the bodice, it looks like there's a little decorative cap sleeve, then the full upper sleeve. Alleycatscratch.com has a great diagram for the elven design on the sleeve. However, due to my inexperience I can't identify how it was done on the original costume. Is it hand-embroidered? Paint? Stamped?
Under Sleeve - Fabric - I've read that this fabric could've been any number of fabrics. Some say it was crinkle lurex organza, finely pleated/crinkled silk, habotai chiffon, or silver tissue. And the colour varies too from ivory to cream to metallic silver to opalescent to off-white. I haven't begun to look for this fabric since I can't figure out what it is. Thoughts?
Ties (for front tie and back sash) - Light silk chiffon fabric about 4 inches wide in the back and 1 - 1.5 inches wide in the front in a purplish grey hue. (Though the DVD commentary says grey, it looks more purple in photos/film.)
Skirts - Same grey suede fabric as the rest of the dress. (There appear to be 4 skirts total, 2 in front and 2 in back.) The underskirt looks to be a light grey china silk, closest to DMC floss #415. Though there is a debate on whether it's habotai or chiffon.
Breeches - I've read multiple times that they were plum leggings but from the pictures I've seen, including the one above, they appear to be grey. It makes the most sense to me for the breeches to match the grey purplish hue of the rest of the garment rather than a rich purple colour like plum. Does anyone know what material they were?
Boots: Matching grey suede boots that lace up in the back. I imagine this will be a matter of just finding boots on Ebay that look closest or grey suede boots and try to put a false lacing up the back.