This one is called WETA dress because the "Arwen Evenstar" WETA collectible statue wears it.
It appears in none of the films so far - unfortunately - but it has been made and can be seen in a trailer.

Official images from the Sideshow WETA Flash ad

Dress context

* There's a short sequence in the theatrical trailer for Two Towers (featured as Easter Egg on the FotR SEE) that shows Arwen and Aragorn in a quiet moment. She is running towards him, laughing, and apparently he lifts her and swirls her around before they close in for a kiss. The sequence is rather short and blurry when you view it frame-by-frame, but you can make out that Arwen is wearing white. (Pics from the trailer are below). I believe that this is the WETA dress (I'll tell you later why...).

* The statue still wears the Evenstar, so it must be before Arwen gives it to Aragorn. It's apparently neither the Bridge nor the Angel dress, the only others that are white and go with the Evenstar. The flower that she carries is very significant, I think. It might be one of the Niphredil flowers of Lothlórien. If that's the case, the dress might be referring to Aragorn & Arwen's meeting in Lórien according to the book:

"Then for a season they wandered together in the glades of Lothlórien, until it was time for him to depart. And on the evening of Midsummer Aragorn Arathorn's son, and Arwen daughter of Elrond went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth, in the midst of the land, and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight and they plighted their troth and were glad."

-The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A

---> Conclusion: The statues's dress is most probably indeed the Lórien dress. She's holding a Niphredil flower (in another passage these are described as 'pale' whereas Elanor is golden) and she's "unshod", meaning barefoot ;-) Also, although her garment's color is not described in the text, white would be a good color for a betrothal, even for an elven one, right?
If you look closely, you can even see the chain of the Evenstar necklace on the trailer pics, on the right side of her throat...faintly, but there.

---> I'm positive that the sequence from the trailer *is* that scene from the book! It's apparently taking place in happier times since she's smiling so radiantly ("...and were glad"). It wouldn't fit into the dramatic events of RotK (Arwen dying and all) or TTT (prediction of her future by Elrond). That leaves FotR. OK, it appeared in the trailer for TTT, but remember the Blood Red Dress? It appeared in a trailer for *FotR* and we saw it only in RotK!
My vote is that this is a completely erased storyline, probably a flashback - it would fit in quite snugly with the scene where Aragorn sings the Lúthien song, don't you think? :-) He thinks back to how he and Arwen met while he sings about her ancestress. Especially because the Arwen scenes in the Appendices have so many hints to Lúthien. Pure speculation though.
But since the dress has actually been made and there's film material with it, I really hope we'll get to see it in a potential director's cut!!!!


UPDATE: Peter Jackson says in the audio commentary to FotR that they "had even shot a sequence with a young Aragorn and Arwen frolicking in the woods. [...] Viggo had shaved off his stubble and....[...]"

PJ says he doesn't know where to fit this in in a SEE cut, although he'd like to. Well, I know...put it in with the 'Song of Lúthien' episode! :-)


from the trailer
Clicking on the pics will enlarge them in a new window
-All caps made by me, please don't take them without permission-


Construction observations

A good close up of the real dress - and the only proof that it was actually *made*, btw :)
From the Extended version of FotR; Disc 2 : "Costume Design", and a BTS pic with Orlando Bloom.

From the way it wrinkles in the upper left pic, I'm guessing on silk. It has a rough texture to it, so it's maybe crinkled. Also, the way the dress "flows" on the WETA statue makes silk very likely.
The insert on the sleeves (and the belt) appear to be some shiny jacquard with a floral pattern, maybe like Éowyn's Shieldmaiden dress? Just a guess though. I also think that on the above right picture, I can make out some sort of pattern on the fabric, but that's too faint to tell for sure...

High resolution images of the statue, thanks to [Cipher] and Ringwraith from Last Alliance
Some of hese images are *really* high res. All of them open on a new site.
Please use your browser's "Back" button to get back here.

New observation:
Dress is split in the back!!!
Can clearly see the split here

When I got these new photos, I was amazed to find a completely new feature: It is split in the back from a few
inches below the belt down to the bottom! Is this a split with the underdress peeking out, or a
gore to achieve width? Here's the answer:

It's a gore! You can see the side seams. This part is probably V-shaped and a little longer than the rest
of the dress, thus constructing the little train.

The dress itself has a slight golden shimmer. The material has a structure to it. We don't know for sure if this is just the artist's impression of the dress, a feature of the polystone material that the statue is made from, or if it's meant to describe a feature of the actual dress.

Belt laces in the back. It is approx. about 5 - 6,5 cm wide.
Its ends form a little upside-down triangle in which the buckle sits. It probably closes with a button. Buckle looks like this:

No idea whether the buckle's made of metal or fabric, but it looks a bit like those fabric cloak claps
that are made of cord. The belt extends almost until her feet. The 'dangling' part of the belt appear to be
3 strands of white cord twisted together.

The dress pools a little in the front, a bit more on the sides and has a small train extending 1/2 m or so.

    Trim at the neckline appears to be chainstitch with white and golden thread  

You can clearly see small golden "dots" in what appears to be chainstitch on neckline, sleeves and belt edge. It might also be a braided trim in white and gold. The golden spots appear in regular intervals of 2 - 2,5 cm. The neckline is gathered, there might even be some elastic worked in.

On the sleeves, there's a band of fabric between the trim edges, it also has these small golden ornaments (or maybe they're really just small dots, I'm not sure). As mentioned above, this fabric is shiny and has a pattern to it, maybe flowers?

The belt is made of the same material as these inserts and also has chainstitch (?) edges..


The sleeves are two-part. The upper sleeves are tight, set in at the shoulder (seam is visible).
Lower sleeves extend to about 30 cm over fingertips. They hang down in the back but the front is folded over to a little behind the wrist and tacked into place.
Fold is probably about 10 cm wide in the widest place and gets smaller towards the sides. Tight sleeves of underdress (?) peek out. The whole sleeve construction is not as wide as the "standard" elven sleeve (BR, Coronation). I'd even say it's not even a half circle but more of a trumpet shape.
Sketch will follow soon! Stay tuned! :-)


YAY! An update! And a good one on top! While browsing through the "Making of the Gollum statue" DVD that came with the TTT collector's box, something caught my eyes. It's about halfway through the DVD. Gino Acevedo, a member of WETA Workshop, talks about the Sideshow WETA figures, how they were painted and stuff. In front of him on the table are several finished statues, including the Arwen Evenstar one. Then, see Jamie Beswarick (I believe it's him), at his table, working on the Evenstar statue, and next to him lies....a photo of Liv in the White WETA dress! Ta-daaah! :-) It's only a small pic, but it's her...

When you click on the thumbs,you'll get the whole pic with Jamie at his table. I also blew it up as much as possible without loosing too much quality....check for the bigger ones here and here.

Richard Taylor mentions that some of the actors used to come down to WETA and sit for their busts/sculpts, and in another special on the FotR DVD he mentions also that Liv used to come down a lot because she was fascinated by their work. So, this photograph might be the reference image for the statue, with Liv posing for them; or an image directly from a movie sequence. I think I can see the flower that is in her hands. What's also interesting is the little dots of light around her, maybe another reference to the white Niphredil flowers that are described in the book?

Not much detail to make out about the dress, but I think it's interesting to see that there were more pictures of the actual dress, not only of the statue.
I'm actually thinking about mailing to WETA whether they'd give me a bigger version of this pic...hehehee.....

NEWS April 2004

I have finally found a suitable fabric for the White WETA Dress and will therefore start on it soon. The fabric I'm using is sandwashed habotai silk. I came across it by accident (bought it because it came along rather cheap) and when I took it out of the box, the first thing I thought was "White WETA"! Unfortunately, I have only 4.80 m of it which is not enough I'm afraid, especially because I want to make the train in its original length. I'm currently looking for sources that carry a similar silk. As soon as I found one, work can start. The pattern ist ready.... :-)

NEWS December 2006

Wow...some things just need time, like a good wine ^^
I just saw when I updated this page that I had bought the majority of the fabric for the White WETA dress already in *2004*. That makes it 2 1/2 years now!!!
And I only just recently stumbled across the matching fabric totally by accident....
The store that usually carried white sandwashed habotai silk sold out of it and didn't seem to get it back in stock. Whenever I went there, I checked for the silk, just in case...

And finally, by the end of November 2006, when I was looking for something entirely different, I role of sandwashed habotai! Even cheaper than it had been two years ago ^^ Of course, I bought what was left - about 5 metres - so I should have enough for my WETA dress :-)

I am so excited to be actually able to make this dress, as it's still the one I like most of all of Arwen's dresses.

Stay tuned...I'll post some photos of my material soon!

Arwen Doll on top of the page by DHF


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