The packing gown has long been one of my favorite of Padmé’s costumes. I’ve called Attack of the Clones the prettiest movie ever made and I certainly include the costuming in that. Amidala’s costumes make an impact in all her appearances but she’s happiest and most herself – as opposed to the version of herself she presents to the world – in her private scenes with Anakin in the second film. This look is the beginning of that; she’s still on Coruscant, still in public view – the scene begins with her deputizing Jar Jar – but preparing to go into hiding. Similarly the gown is subdued in comparison to those she wears on Naboo, but more romantic than her senatorial outfits.
I use the screencap above in the banner for this fashion project. I love the closet full of color and that none of what hangs here matches up to anything she wears. Padmé has a new costume for nearly every scene she’s in, her wardrobe has to be extensive (and definitely doesn’t fit in this one closet).
The Packing Gown most closely resembles the late Victorian/early Edwardian fashion era: high neck, puffed sleeves, voluminous skirt, long cuffs withs fabric buttons.
A transitional fashion era is appropriate for the gown she wears to prepare to leave Coruscant (duty) and embark on the journey to Naboo (romance).
The pops of blue and gold in the brocade reference the work of Alphonse Mucha. Blue is a significant color for Padmé, particularly in relation to Anakin, and this is their first scene alone together . The color palette of the packing gown also mimics the Coruscant apartment itself.
But perhaps the most obvious influence is their daughter’s original appearance.
The packing scene is the first time we see Padmé’s hair styled after Leia’s iconic space buns, and the basic lines of the gown and the accompanying silver accessories are similar, too. Padmé’s gown is more structured, more elaborate, which makes sense given the timeline.
Leia’s hairstyle in A New Hope was clearly influenced by Hopi styling and Padmé’s is even closer to the original. The Hopi, an indigenous people who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation reservation in Arizona, are traditionally matrilineal.