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Padmé Fashion Project: Backless Evening Gown

Padmé Amidala has the most extensive, and most fashionable, wardrobe in Star Wars. The Padmé Fashion Project analyzes all of it.

This costume appears in the second season Clone Wars episode “Senate Spy”. It’s one of those episodes where Padmé is great and the Jedi are awful. The story drops Padmé into the role of damsel in distress and the backless evening gown reflects various Disney princesses.

Padmé first appears in the evening gown at the top of an elaborate, curved, and carpeted staircase, which is shorthand for Disney Royalty.

She’s then poisoned by the people who have been after her since she was a child, and rescued by her two love interests.

Now, Padmé is active in this story. She successfully infiltrates Clovis’s castle (and heart) to catch him with the Trade Federation and she stands up to both Clovis and Anakin when they try to take her agency away. But she is very much a pawn to the Jedi and the Separatists, and a pretty, pretty princess for Anakin and Clovis to fight over.

She’s also stuck in an ill-conceived and unattractive evening gown. Did the animators mean to make her look so uncomfortable? I assume the slimness of the top is meant to be “sexy” but to my eye it’s unforgiving.

I realize this is animation, but it looks painted on. The top certainly requires tape or glue to stay on and up. Her breasts are somehow accentuated while also being compressed to nonexistence. The sleeve gloves are so strange! They would also require glue/tape to stay on/up and I don’t know why the exterior upper side arm is deemed worthy of a frame.

Nor does this reflect Padmé general aesthetic. It’s more ‘modern’ than many of her outfits. Her hair most resembles “Slave Leia”, which is A Choice.

The necklace is easily the best part of this look and I wish we had some backstory for it. Behind the scenes it is referenced as a gift from Clovis, which makes sense, and is a fun parallel to the Japor snippet.

The dress looks much better in this concept art, and in this incredible cosplay, than it does on screen. The episode scenes are so dark that the detailing on the front — which is reflective of Padmé’s traditional aesthetic — is completely lost. As I said, it looks painted, and I think they may have been trying for the “Belle’s Gold Gown” effect:

But, at least for me, it doesn’t work.

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