This outfit can be seen in Fellowship of the Ring, when Arwen races against the evil Ringwraiths to reach Rivendell and save Frodo.
The first layer of this complex outfit comprises of a dove grey coat made of suede.
This design sketch, found at alleycatscratch, depicts the complicated dress from a frontal view. As you can see, Arwen wears the coat over a skirt and a pair of riding boots.
The suede coat itself is made out of a very fine, very thin suede, approximately a 16th of an inch thick.
<--- An exhibit picture of the dress. From this angle, one can see the finer aspects of this outfit: the elvish embroidery on the shoulder of the coat, and the criss-cross lacing of silk ribbon on the front, decorated with a silver elvish brooch.
The bodice of this outfit is done with princess seams. The collar stands about two inches above the base of the neck and is rolled. There is a textured overlay of lace on the collar, perhaps stitched with a type of narrow cord to achieve the textured effect. The lace continues all the way around inside to the back of the collar.
The lacing on the bodice is actually just for decoration - in truth, the coat is fastened at the front, by something like a top hook. The front of the gown is worn open to a few inches below collarbone level.
At the back of the bodice is a sash which pulls in the fullness of the coat. Whilst the DVD commentary says that the sash is a kind of grey colour, the sash looks almost purple in the movie. The sash is long and ties at the center at the back of the ground. It falls down to floor length.
<--- Notice here the seam style on the coat.
A closeup of the collar, and its opening.
In the image below, one is able to see both the seams and the elvish pattern on the coat shoulder.
There is a small overlapping sleeve cap on the shoulder, allowing for extra ease in moving.
As it commonly appears in Elvish design, the sleeves are two-part. The top section is tightly fitted, cut higher on the inside arm and just below the elbow at the outer arm edge.
The lower part of the sleeve is petal shaped, open from the inner elbow. The sleeve is about two or three inches past the fingertips in length, and overlaps a little where it is attached (outside over in).
The undersleeves are a silver and cream crinkled silk, almost identical to, if not the same as the fabric used for the underdress. These sleeves are bell shaped, but not as long as the outer sleeves. A very good fabric to use for the under sleeves can be found here.
In the picture below, one is able to see the sleeves of the under dress and the comparitive length. Also interesting to look at is the pattern on Arwen's collar.
The skirt of Arwen's chase dress consists of four separate panels which curve slightly upward and meet at the center front of the dress, just above the knee. At the side, the front panels overlap the black panels by approximately one and a half inches. The back panels of the dress seem slightly more flared than the front (sorry, no more visuals available right now - check back for updates).
The underskirts of the dress are fine silk, in a pale greyish-purple colour. There are only two pieces of the underskirts. Each side is one piece, made up of two pieces of silk sewn together. The front piece of each side is curved up, to give the 'petal' effect which is inherent throughout the whole outfit. The edges of the underskirts hang about 2" above the anklebones, and 3-4 inches below the over skirt.
It is speculated that these underskirts are very full - fuller, at least, than the overskirt, as they billow out when Arwen is riding at a gallop.
Arwen does wear trousers beneath her dress (obviously, to enhance her ability to ride), but these are only really visible in the behind-the-scenes DVD commentaries. They are plum leggings.
Please Note: This is only a rough overview of Arwen's Chase Dress. If you would like more detail on the dress, please visit here.
Return to Arwen's costume page.