Senate gown: Difference between revisions | Wookieepedia



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*<!– 2018-09-18 –>”[[Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition]]” {{1stID|Senate gown}}


*<!– 2018-09-18 –>”[[Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition]]” {{1stID|Senate gown}}


*<!– 2019-10-04 –>”[[Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition]]”


*<!– 2019-10-04 –>”[[Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition]]”

*<!– 2023-04-04 –>”[[Star Wars 100 Objects]]


*<!– 2023-04-04 –>Star Wars ”


*<!– 2023-12-12 –>”[[Star Wars 100 Objects]]”


==Notes and references==


==Notes and references==

Latest revision as of 09:08, 7 January 2024

The Senate gown was a multilayered ensemble that was part of the wardrobe of Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo. It consisted of an escoffiate headpiece, a deep red outer robe with embroidered rosette designs and gold trim, an orange-shot-gold silk taffeta underdress accented with beads, and a black cloak with peaked shoulders. The regal attire conveyed the Naboo culture while incorporating protective and practical functions for the queen.

Amidala wore the attire when she addressed the Galactic Senate on Coruscant for the first time due to her homeworld‘s invasion by the Trade Federation. It helped her remain calm and aloof through the proceedings.


The Senate gown was a multilayered ensemble worn by Padmé Amidala to address the Galactic Senate when she was the Queen of the planet Naboo.[4] The elaborate gown was both fashionable and protective; it was blaster resistant, easily removed if need be, and had practical gadgets concealed within jewelry.[3]


The gown seen from the front with the cloak (left) and from the back without cloak (right)

The primary layer was a loose-fitting, deep red robe with various textures.[1] It had embroidered rosette designs and gold, triple-braided soutache trim.[4] Beneath the robe was an orange-shot-gold silk taffeta[2] underdress with heavy pleating, a high collar, and fitted sleeves that extended to her knuckles, all accented with tiny gold beads. The robe and underdress could be further layered with a black cloak that had wide, peaked shoulders.[1]

Queen Amidala wore her Senate gown with an escoffiate headpiece that had a wig styled to resemble the horns of a guarlara creature.[2] Golden hairbands encircled the two gathered “horns” and grand finial hairtip ornaments accented the ends. The close-fitted gold cap had orichalc finework suspensas framing either side of her face.[4] The entire ensemble incorporated historic symbols, such as the Symbol of the Royal House of Naboo on the cap[3] and the Royal Sovereign of Naboo medal in the center of the escoffiate. A red scar of remembrance was painted on her lip, along with the traditional royal white facepaint and red beauty marks on both cheeks.[4]



Senator Palpatine explains the dynamics of the Galactic Senate to Queen Amidala.

In 32 BBY[5] Amidala wore the Senate gown to address the assembled Senators on Coruscant, the galactic capital, after Naboo was invaded by the Trade Federation. As she prepared for the hearing, the young Anakin Skywalker visited the apartment in which she was dressing and asked to speak to the Handmaiden Padmé, not knowing that the Queen and the Handmaiden were the same individual. Amidala told the boy that she would convey his message.[1]

Amidala’s magnificent attire expressed the Naboo culture through the regal trappings of the Royal House of Naboo. Wearing it also helped her remain calm and aloof through the proceedings.[4] During the Senate hearing, she wore it with the black cloak. Sheev Palpatine, the Senator of Naboo and secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith who had manipulated the Trade Federation to invade their homeworld, accompanied her.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Conception and construction[]

The costumes are one of the most special parts of the movie. I wasn’t the happiest of people having to wear the Senate costume with the big hairpiece, however. The outfits were made so they could be easily taken on and off, because if you have to go to the bathroom at some point during the day, you can’t spend five hours for a bathroom break. The hair and makeup usually took about two, two-and-a-half hours, but the costumes took 15 minutes.
―Actress Natalie Portman discusses the costume in Starlog 270[6]

One of Iain McCaig’s early concepts for the Senate gown, with the shoulders toned down from the first

Padmé Amidala’s Senate gown first appeared in the 1999 prequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, and was worn by actress Natalie Portman.[1] In 1995, artist Iain McCaig began conceptualizing the design of a costume that incorporated a Mongolian hairstyle, and the finished costume was realized by costume designer Trisha Biggar and her department. An initial sketch had tall shoulders[7] like those seen on the outmost layer of the finished costume;[1] the shoulders were toned down in subsequent sketches, such as one dated to December 15 of that year. The headdress was also featured in many of McCaig’s storyboards.[7]

Biggar and the costume department made the peak-shouldered cape with black faux fur[8] lined with red silk.[9] Beneath the cape is an outer robe in red-shot-green silk velvet, with freehand embroidered motifs in bronze metallic thread and ruched yoke and hem panels. The robe is lined at the cuffs and collar in orange silk taffeta that is overlaid with gold metallic organza, seed pearls, and trapunto detailing.[8] The trapunto method involved stitching small tubes into a design and injecting them with thread to create a padded effect. It took one person a week to complete the embroidery and trapunto.[9] The underdress is orange-shot-silk vintage silk taffeta[8] with a green weave; at the time, the fabric was seventy years old. To catch the light when the character moved,[10] it was constructured with layered sunray-pleated panels[8] and decorated with antique pieces of beaded lace.[9]

Costume prop supervisor Ivo Coveney was responsible for crafting the escoffiate headdress.[11] It was first made in copper using electroforming, then gold-plated[8] with real gold to achieve the right quality of color, and decorated with small jewels.[9] Marketing for the film, such as bus sides, featured the costume.[12]


In the new Star Wars canon, the costume was originally identified as “Senate outfit” in the 2017 reference book Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia, but it was subsequently identified as the Senate gown in the 2018 reference book Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition, which was written by Pablo Hidalgo and David Reynolds. The latter matches its name in Star Wars Legends continuity, which Reynolds originated with the 1999 reference book Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary.[13]

Visual guide[]



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Notes and references[]

External links[]

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