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Prince Caspian

 

 

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Susan Pevensie

in Prince Caspian

 

Purple Narnia Dress

Susan finds this dress in her chest in the treasure chamber at Cair Paravel. She wears it for much of the film—at the beaches near Cair Paravel, traveling with Trumpkin and her siblings, at Aslan's How, and with her Night Raid outfit (minus the bodice and sleeves and topped with her leather cuirass).

Don't miss the FIDM exhibit photos—this dress had a matching cloak that Susan never wore in the film. We're still gobsmacked over that.

Fabrics

The dark, dusky purple striped fabric of the sleeves and skirt is medium/suit-weight, with a lovely drape. Our guess is a worsted wool gabardine.

In the exhibit images, we can see it's a fine twill weave, with double narrow jacquard-woven stripes—these double stripes, though they look identical and even like a single stripe from a distance, are actually slightly different. The right-hand stripe (from the wearer's perspective) is a darker purple color, a smooth, straight line. The other stripe is a dark pinkish purple, irregular and not straight. We get a pretty good look at the reverse side of the fabric in this shot here.

The surface looks soft, and it actually has a subtle reflective quality in the exhibit shots, perhaps it's lightly brushed, or just worn—see the fibers in this shot.

The bodice fabric, a lighter, less deep purple, has a vertical ribbed weave. The ribs aren't perfectly straight, though—they appear wavy.

The blue fabric of the underskirt and undersleeves looks like a plain weave, perhaps a cotton.

Layers

The outfit looks to be three separate pieces. The purple bodice and striped sleeves are one piece, as we can see at the armscyes. The purple striped skirt is separate from the bodice, attached to the underskirt (which is actually a pair of culottes disguised with a wide panel draped at the front: see the underdress section below). It's possible that there is a full blue underdress, but it's far more likely that the layer under the skirt and the sleeves/neckline layer are separate pieces—that way it looks like a full underdress, but it's separate for convenience.

In this shot and this shot we can see under the edge of the bodice that the skirt is sewn to blue underdress fabric. This is likely a high waistband, as with Lucy's red dress (see this shot).

We can see the loop of a tie made of blue cord under the edge of the bodice in these three shots. This tie may be part of the skirt closure located on this waistband, or it could be a tie that attaches the skirt layer to the bodice to prevent gapping and shifting (though the front split of the skirt is still slightly askew once in a while, as we can see in this image).

Construction - Bodice

The bodice is definitely boned. It's supportive, stiff, holds its shape, and fits very snugly. The wrinkling of the fabric at the top in this shot seems to indicate how far the boning extends at the back. The princess seams are double like her dresses in LWW—a total of nine pattern pieces all the way around: a front piece, front side pieces, direct side pieces, back side pieces, and back pieces. The princess seams at the front extend far up towards the shoulder, but curve slightly to end mid-armscye. The back princess seams line up perfectly with the sleeve seam, as we can see in this image, among others.

The scoop neck follows the line of the blue underdress neckline, so we usually see about 1/4" of the blue fabric there. The bodice neck is edged in a narrow corded piping the same color as the bodice.

The bodice criss-cross laces over a modesty panel at the back, narrowing towards the waist where the purple cord ties. It looks knotted, the ends hanging past the hip. Our best shots include here, turning over, here and here, helping pull the boat in, here, looking down into the ravine, here, watching the bridge, and here, meeting Caspian.

The waist is pointed at the front. The peplum consists of four flaps on each side for a total of eight, each shaped with two scallops—a bit like flower petals—made of the purple striped fabric. There's a slight gap between each one. Each piece is edged with a tiny twisted gold cord, which also shows up around the daffodils...

"We've built in Susan's daffodil motif that she's always had, right into her dress this time just layered on, and it's based on this beautiful fashion piece that's out of this exhibition in Tokyo. I love combining that whole medieval look with whatever I want."

~Isis Mussenden, Comingsoon.net Interview

The daffodils are obviously the signature element of this outfit. They're not an appliqué—they're actually cut out of the purple bodice, to show the layer underneath. Though this layer looks like gold fabric from a distance, we see in the exhibit shots (here's a close-up) that it's actually red and gold, possibly a brocade. The red color matches her cloak, though it's not the same fabric.

The center front daffodil is standing up, with a high trumpet. The ones to either side have bent blossoms. The on her left has always been covered by the strap of her bag, but in the exhibit shots, we get a clear view of both, which shows our template is not quite right. The daffodil on her left, with the higher stem, is not a duplicate of the one on her right: the left daffodil has four petals, the one on her right has two petals and a trumpet, like the center daffodil.

The cutout area is borded in the the same twisted gold cord that edges the peplum pieces.

Construction - Sleeves

The long sleeves are each shaped like a two-piece coat sleeve. Observe that one of the sleeve seams is always at the front of her arm (thumb side, if the hands are hanging at the sides). The pattern is probably close to this two-piece semi-fitted coat sleeve. Also on that page, see the description of a coat sleeve which mentions the need for this shape in sleeves with tighter-fitting wrists and no plackets.

The seam along the back of the arm opens just above her elbow, the opening pulled together below the elbow, attached with three lengths of dark cord, closing again with three lengths of cord, a bit closer together, just above the wrist. This gives her a large slit at her elbow when she bends her arm for archery. The blue underdresss sleeves blouse out from these two openings, more from the elbow opening than the one below. You can see the sleeve openings and closures best in these shots: here, shooting an arrow, here, on the boat, here, here, and here, turning over, and here, meeting Caspian.

Construction - Skirt

The skirt is full, maybe 3/4 of a circle.

It's split up the front, and we can see one or two inches of the center front seam. The front two pieces are cut so that the stripes are vertical up the center front, but each piece is flared and the skirt drapes so that the stripes are angled at the side seam. The skirt's side seam itself is not at the absolute side; it matches up with the "second" princess seam, the seam at the back of the direct side piece. This gives the skirt to hang with plenty of volume at the sides.

Though we haven't spotted the center back seam because of the way the skirt drapes, the back looks to be two pieces as well by the way the stripes angle—flared just opposite of the way the front pieces are. Thus, there's extra volume at the back: the skirt has more vertical stripes along the back and at the side seams, and the angled seams match up at the center back seam. See the sketch here if you're having trouble visualizing it.

Underdress - Shirt and Culottes

The blue underdress appears to be two separate pieces, shirt and underskirt.

However, the underskirt is actually a pair of culottes (split riding skirt) with a wide panel folded in front, as with Lucy's red dress, to disguise the culottes. It's hard to see this in any of the images we have right now, but it can be spotted in the film. As Anna writes, a good place to spot the culottes is right when Susan is stepping up the hill after Peter, just before they see the ravine and Lucy sees Aslan.

We do see hints of the culottes in some of the shots we have, though. We see what looks like the corner/edge of the panel that disguises the culottes, showing through the front split here and here, and sometimes just the fold of the fabric panel falling over a leg of the culotte, here, here, here, and here.

The sleeves fit fairly close to the arm, but they are gathered on the outer side into the wrist, creating that extra volume we see through the purple sleeve opening. See the Night Raid outfit page for more images of the sleeves, especially here, here, here and here.

The undershirt neckline follows the scoop of the purple dress neckline. This never seems to be out of place, though... could it be faked? Or is it just held in place by the fitted purple bodice? We can't tell as she wears a leather gorget over the blue blouse later with her Night Raid outfit.

Cloak

We didn't expect this one! Check out SkarlettFever's and ExperienceLA's FIDM exhibit images below. Isn't the cloak gorgeous? It took a while to get over this, finding that there was a something more to the outfit after studying this dress for so long! However, it does seem to be fancier than practical Susan would want on a walking trip, traveling in summer, so maybe it makes sense that it wasn't included.

The cloak is a lovely red paisley jacquard—the color matches the layer under the daffodil cutouts beautifully—possibly a 3/4 circle by the way it drapes. The front edges are embroidered or embellished with gold leaf—it's hard to tell which, the design does not seem to be very three dimensional—in a repeating leafy branch pattern. Also, if you look at this image, you can see small sprigs with berry-type clusters hanging down from the branches, a bit similar to the the berries on the gold leafing on her LWW coronation gown.

The cloak is fully lined in a gold lamé, closing at the neck with a gold filigree hook-and-ring clasp, which looks a lot like this one from Patterns of Time, also on Amazon.com. The cloak is several inches shorter than the purple skirt in front, but appears to have a slight train in the back.

Accessories

She wears her quiver and carries a small burgundy purse that attaches to the quiver strap with two long straps and loops. She wears a ring with a pale green stone on her left forefinger, and gold band with red jewels on her left ring finger.

She also wears a gold filigree necklace on a fine gold chain, with a small purple stone surrounded by tiny pearls, and a pearl at the very tip. This is the same necklace that she wears as a queen at the very end of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe—see this image particularly.

 



Sketches/Templates


Exhibit - folded in treasure chest



2009 FIDM Exhibit - thanks to SkarlettFever and ExperienceLA


High-Res Production Shots from Shootastic



High-Res DVD Screencaps from Hotn'Caps



Production Shots


(in the chest)



High-Res Trailer #1 Screencaps

 


 

 

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