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Some of the Best Purple Costumes in Movies
Purple Color Meaning
In times past purple was a color of royalty. This was due to the fact that making the dye was expensive and the only people who could afford such luxury were members of the ruling class.
While purple still holds its royal and luxury associations it also denotes meanings of creatively, wisdom, power, ambition and a touch of fantasy and magic. As purple shades are a combination of red and blue the color can be both simulating and calming which is why it’s so appealing.
Warm Vs Cool...
The combination of red and blue does create an interesting issue: where is a given shade of purple really blue or is it red? Does a given shade of purple look warmer or cooler? And sometimes a costume can look one way in promo pictures or on display and completely different in a movie. And as we all know colors can and will be perceived differently to different people.
This list is for shades of purple that appear warmer. Shades that look like they have a higher combination of red values to blue. So shades like magenta, fuchsia, eggplant, some lilac, some lavenders, jam, boysenberry ect.
It’s not totally precise. I did try to check color values and hex codes but mostly it was just overall appearance and how the costume looks as a whole and what color stands out in the film or iconic images of the costumes.
Purple movie costumes that have more blue tones or shades that just appear cooler like violets, periwinkles and other shades of the blue/red combo have their own list.
How this Ranking Works?
This ranked list is broken into three sections based on film genres: Fantasy/Sci-fi/Comicbooks (anything fantastical in context,) Modern Movies meaning roughly made when they are set (about five years or so) and Period pieces. More type than genre but you get the idea.
Though sometimes a costume can be listed in a different genre than the film’s genre it just depends on the context and narrative. Or sometimes it will adhere to the film’s genre like for example a period costume but the movie is a sci-fi with time travel. The rules are more like guidelines.
In total there are 30 costumes ranked here in groups of ten.
Articles of clothing, like undergarments, cover-ups, sleepwear, outerwear etc are not included. (This rule made it harder. Barbara Spooner from Amazing Grace has a gorgeous spencer, very swoon worthy.)
The costumes are ranked by aesthetics, memorability and how it suits the character/film. My own subjective opinions do influence the ranking as it’s my list. I do try and be objective as I can but I won’t pretend that I am.
Side note turns out warmer tones of purple were harder to source than previous thought. I might have also over-thought/obsessed about it.
Modern Movie Costume
Enid from Ghost World
Enid, played by Thora Birch, is a talented artist who is also a social outcast with a cynical attitude on life.
Owing to the fact that Ghost World is a Black Comedy based on a comic book it’s no wonder that this look of Enid is so odd as it perfectly encompasses her creative, offbeat yet disaffected nature.
This is expressed in the polo shirt with weird and colorful patches. The girl poking out of a trash can is just a chef kiss. She pairs this with a short pleather skirt. All of Enid’s fashions are examples of cool early 2000s take on the grunge aesthetics.
Costume design by Mary Zophres
Mira from Black Orpheus
Black Orpheus is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set against the backdrop of Rio de Janeiro during carnival.
Mira, played by Lourdes de Oliveira, is Orfeu’s fiance. She is depicted as jealous, impatient and vengeful. She is the perfect foil to the sweet country girl that is Eurydice. Mira’s purple costume highlights this dichotomy as the purple color is bold and the fit of the dress is form fitting suggesting that Mira is a stylish and worldly woman of the city. The shine of the fabric add to the dreamlike quality of the film
This silhouette was very much in vogue in the late 50s. Despite the hemline being knee length and the elbow length sleeves this dress is alluring without being vulgar. It’s chic and seductive.
Mia from La La Land
La La Land is a love letter to the so-called golden age of Hollywood with a dose of naivety and sentimentality. During the climax of the movie Mia, played by Emma Stone, envisions a fantasy of the life she and Sebastian could have had if her life had been a film.
During this scene she wears a purple halter dress that is very similar to the blue dress she wore earlier in the film. While the cut and the neckline are the same there are differences, the halter neckline is deeper and there is some ruching at the waistline. Like many of the costumes in the movie the fabric has a lovely drape that captures movement beautifully even though Mia is not doing much in the way of complicated choreography in this part of the sequence.
Costume design by Mary Zophres
Daphne from Scooby Doo
Daphne, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a purple wearing fashion icon. Any of her looks could easily be on this list.
This short mini dress with minimal stripe detailing at the hem is a great combo of her retro cliche vibe mixed with a flair of early 2000s modernity. It’s paired with a matching clutch purse and gogo boots.
It communicates her stylish cool awesome girl persona to a T.
Costume design by Leesa Evans
Lili Duran from On the Riviera
On the Riviera is not one of those highly remembered movies from the 50s. It was the third film adaptation of a stage play called The Red Cat and critics of the time felt the story was tired. However, the costumes were great.
The warmish lavender ombre strapless new look gown Lili, played by Gene Teirney, is so lovely. It has a mixture of other purple tones giving it a dreamlike ethereal quality while still keeping with that early 50s high class glamor.
To complete this look there is a big bow off-center at the back along the neckline.
Costume Design by Travilla
Costume design by Mary Zophres
Tracy Chambers from Mahogany
If you do much in the way of any research on fashionable movies you will run into Mahogany. It is a fashion movie. It’s about an aspiring fashion designer, Tracy Chambers played by Diana Ross who not only did music for the movie but the costume. Tracy becomes reinvented as an in-demand model called Mahogony. The story is very much a Cinderella rags-to-riches narrative though it’s not held as the best film however the costumes do stand out.
The fashion costumes are over-the-top and by all accounts super seventy snazzy style. This purple dress, which is most notable as a behind scene promo shot and on the DVD can be seen on a billboard in the movie. This dress is just so cool and sleek with its feather detailing, asymmetrical single long sleeve and it draping around the neck.
Costume design by Diana Ross
Mona Lisa Vito from My Cousin Vinny
Mona Lisa Vito, played by Marisa Tomei, is an under-appreciated fashion icon. All her looks from this movie are on point and a great examples of early 90s New York style. She is kind of in the same vein as Fran Drecher’s fashion icon character Fran Fine from the TV show The Nanny.
At the climax of the movie Mona Lisa wears this dark purple dress to provide expert testimony in a murder case that proves the innocence of the defendants and proves the effectiveness of the lawyer who is Mona Lisa’s fiancee. It is a very memorable scene and arguably Mona Lisa’s most iconic look.
The dress is short and is an eggplant color. The fabric looks like it has a stretch and could be a knit. The neckline is high and the sleeves are long. The dress is adorned with silver studs. The studs are various sizes and go across the body and on the sleeves.
This dress compliments Mona Lisa’s stylish yet no nonsense vibe.
Costume design by Carol Wood
Selena Quintanilla from Selena
This bio-pic is based on the life of singer Selena Quintanilla. Jennifer Lopez plays the titular songstress.
This costume is based on the purple jumpsuit that Selene wore at the Astrodome on February 26, 1995 which was tragically her last major concert. Selena designed the jumpsuit herself.
There was clearly a retro seventy glam inspiration taken with this iconic look. It has very notable wide bell bottoms, a very defined angled shoulder line with the matching shrugs layer and glitter fabric. The exposed midriff gives the 90s fashion update.
When the shrugs layer is removed the top is criss-cross across the bodice and wrapped at the neck. It’s such an iconic pivotal look that any retelling of her life must include it.
Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale
There is something so glamorous about the classification of the “Bond Girl.” As it turns out that spy movies, especially Bond movies, are a great place to look for modern and glamorous costumes in contemporary movies.
In Casino Royale, Eva Green plays Vesper Lynd, the Bond Girl of the Bond movie. She is HM Treasury liaison officer. Her purple gown features a plunging halter neckline with some ruching. The neckline has some silver beading along the edge which gives it angularity. The dress is floor length and backless. The fabric does have a drape which could mean it was cut on the bias. It’s also quite form fitting which adds to the alluring factor that all Bond Girls have in spades.
Costume design by Lindy Hemming
Giselle from Enchanted
The idea of Giselle, played by Amy Adams, who is the embodiment of that traditional archetypal Disney princess wearing just a modern dress to a ball that begging for some Rococo opulence was a hard sell when Enchanted first came out. That was the point though, this gown was about self-actualization, it was about Giselle choosing reality over the fantasy she had known. Her wearing a gown that was akin to her over-the-top bridal at the start of the film would have negated all her character growth. This gown was the culmination of her character arc.
The purple gown Giselle wears during the ball and during the climax of the film is desperately simple. It’s a strapless gown and yet there is a beaded band that goes around the neck. This beaded band is sewn to the center of the bodice which has a slight dip. The bodice is gathered at the bust then is fitted in the bodice. The gown flairs out into a mermaid tail silhouette. This is achieved with gussets. The gussets provide movement during the dance during the ballroom scene, as they highlight every turn she makes on the dance floor.
Sure it’s not the most glamorous gown but it speaks to the evolution of Giselle’s character and though not every costume in cinema needs to speak to completing a character arc but it’s nice to see one that is very lovely.
Costume design by Mona May
Queen Adelaide from The Young Victoria
All the costumes in The Young Victoria are one point even costumes worn by the secondary characters.
When we first meet Queen Adelaide, played by Harriet Walter, she is posed and refined, a contrast to Victoria’s youth and her mother’s flash. Adelaide is cladded in a warm royal purple gown with a gold pattern. The choice of color marks her royalty and her sense of refinement.
This is embodiment of 1830s fashion with its large gigot sleeves, the rich color and the sloping neckline. The skirt might be a little off for the period as it's less conical but this actually works as a means to communicate her prestige as the skirt is longer with its train thus showing off her status and position.
Costume design by Sandy Powell
Angelica Sedara from The Leopard
The costumes in The Leopard are hailed as some of the most historically accurate costumes in cinema. Now it should be noted that it doesn’t make for memorable/iconic costumes or even a good movie but it does help as it adds to a level of sincerity and a feeling of immersion. It doesn’t come off as cheapening the period of the setting with a sense of modernity of the film makers or some gimmick.
Angelica, played by Claudia Cardinale, wears this fuchsia day dress when she meets Prince Tancredi Falconeri for a romantic tryst. It’s a fairly simple costume; it does have some nice touches and details that spot on for the period.
Costume design by Piero Tosi
Gwendolen from The Importance of being Earnest
Gwendolen, played by Frances O’Connor, is a sophisticated cosmopolitan lady. Up until the climax of the 2002 version, Gwendolen wears a lot of black and white monochromatic costumes. These scenes take place in London while the climax takes place in the country. It serves to reason that in the country that she would wear something less severe and more pastorally minded.
This daywear gown is less frilly than Cecily’s costume who is younger and more naive than Gwendolen. The gown has a graphic floral pattern but the really eye-catching aspect of the costume is the purple gathered trim that makes up a lot of the details on this costume. The softening of the lace sleeves help to further give this costume a quite sophisticated air of romance that suits Gwendolen’s personality ideally.
Costume design by Maurizio Millenotti
Alma from Phantom Thread
Phantom Thread is about the creative process explored with 1950’s culture fashion with a dash of obsession and a dose of an unhealthy muse-creator dynamic.
The fashions in the movie are not so much about art or pushing the creative envelope but it more in line with a conservative sense of what chic was in the 50s for high society people still waxing poetic about the 40s.
So the fashions in this film are purposely kind of clunky and not as in vogue as they should be. They are safe, almost boring and yet the soft lavender gown that Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, is very feminine and eye-catching.
It does sport that heavy white lace other costumes in the movie have but it does blend into the soft tones of the shiny fabric. The matching tulle shawl helps to diminish the overt conservative mood of the gown as does the off shoulder necklace.
This costume is one of the looks of the film.
Costume design by Mark Bridges
Dolly Levi from Hello Dolly
Dolly Levi, played by Barbra Streisand, is a very competent lady. If her motives or ambitions were at all nefarious she could be quite the villain however she is not. Her careful yet fairly mad-cap plans are aimed at people and herself finding love and bettering their positions. She is a Queen amongst the people and this purple ensemble is very reflective of that aspect of her character.
Dolly wears this tonal royal purple daywear to Irene’s hat shop as her scheme works their mischief and plants some seeds of love. The costume is a high neckline long sleeve blouse with a matching skirt and a fabulous hat. Criss-crossing ruffles with rosettes make up the details. The rosettes get bigger in size as they go down the outfit to the hem.
Is it the most historically accurate costume? No, it is not. Is it iconic? Yes it is.
Costume design by Irene Sharaff
Giuliana Hermil from L’Innocence
Based on a novel, this movie depicts a very dour melo-drama about a tragic love triangle of sorts. The story is not the appeal of the movie film’s direction especially with the costumes.
Giuliana Hermil, played by Laura Antonelli, plays a neglected wife whose husband is engaged with a mistress. Giuliana finds love with a lover herself which makes her husband desire her again.
This evening gown that she wears is a sugar plum color. There is some beading at the puffed sleeves and at the front of the skirt. The bodice has pintucks which adds a subtle bit of visual interest. It’s not the most grand and ostentatious gown in the room but it is very lovely and with the sheer veil it adds a dreamlike quality to the look.
Costume design by Piero Tosi
Paro from Devdas
The 2002 version of Devdas is an opulent feast for the eyes. It’s a gorgeous and luxurious looking movie from the over the top sets to the tiniest details on the costumes.
Based on the novel of the same name, Paro, played by Aishwarya Rai, is the childhood sweetheart of the main character Devdas. Due to some machinations, weak-willed motivated mistakes and pride, Devdas and Paro do not get married despite the almost supernatural love they share. Instead she marries someone else in an arranged marriage and Devdas wallows in misery.
This purple saree Paro wears when she is reprimanded by her husband and her mother-in-law with regards to her deep feelings towards Devdas is very beautiful and a little unusual.
The blouse has a high neckline with long sleeves. You don’t see this combination too often in Bollywood movies. So it does look more subdued as an ensemble especially considering the spectacle of some of the other costumes in this movie.
There is a gold trim at the neckline and at the cuffs. There is also a subtle gold pattern on the blouse. The saree border is also gold which adds some lovely layers.
While the color purple does not have the same associations in India as it does in Western countries it is linked to the 7th chakra. The 7th chakra is the crown and its about the connection to the divine and the universe which suits Paro’s feelings for her childhood sweetheart.
Costume design by Abu Jani, Sandeep Khosla, Neeta Lulla and Reza Shariffi
Gertrude from Ophelia
The 2018 movie Ophelia is a retelling of Shakespear’s Hamlet from the prospective of Ophelia,
All the costumes in the film are a pre-raphaelite dream. They are all just so amazingly stunning and gorgeous.
Amongst these lovely costumes is this one deep royal purple piece that Queen Gertrude, played by Naomi Watts, wears a few times, mostly notably when she marries Claudius. The costume is textural adding luxurious quality. The fabric looks like it is made from velvet and it’s richly embroidery with a heavy gold pattern. The sleeves are long and trimmed with gold. There is an insert at the side seams that looks to be made of some kind of texture fabric, maybe a silk of some kind. The collar is a high stand up which adds a feeling of regality to the look.
The costume is further adorned with beads, purple jewels, pearls, rings and a crown with a long veil.
Costume design by Massimo Cantini Parrini
Dido Elizabeth Belle from Belle
The 2013 film Belle is a biopic of Dido Elizabeth Belle, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the first black member of the British aristocracy in the late 1700s. She was the illegitimate daughter of Maria Belle, formerly enslaved African woman and Sir John Lindsay. She was raised by her great aunt and uncle the Countess and first Earl of Mansfield along with her cousin Elizabeth Murray. Her great-uncle was the most powerful British jurist at the time.
One of her most iconic costumes is her purple magenta gown. It is in the Robe à l’Anglaise style. The stomacher is droned with bows. The trim along edges of the gown is pleated ruffle with a contrasting lighter shade that is closer to pink.
As she is wearing this gown to a garden party she wears a lacy white hat and has a matching parasol.
Costume design by Anushia Nieradzik
Rose DeWitt Bukater from Titanic
As a young woman in the upper epsilon of high society and having just completed a grand tour of Europe in during a late gilded age Rose played by Kate Winslet, costumes are all insanely beautiful and in vogue for 1912.
The last garment she wears at the climax of the movie which is the entire sinking of Titanic and the aftermath is a seemly simple dress. She really just slips it on because it was most likely easy for her to get into with assistance and it’s fun to spatulate what sort of event or function this dress would have been worn to, maybe a tea or garden party or some other society gathering she would have hated.
This dress is a day wear garment made from layers of sheer pale lavender as well as white and pink which add depth. It has a high empire waistline with long pink sash and short sleeves. The neckline is angled square and trimmed with lace
The dress is very diaphanous which gives great fluidity as she runs, swims and moves around during this section of the movie. It makes her look fragile against the dark water that submerges the sets all around her.
This dress is called the "The Swim Dress."
Costume design by Deborah L Scott
Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Arguably this is not a great movie on the story front but the sets and costumes are very imaginative and fun.
Owing to her name The Sugar Plum Fairy, played Keira Knightley, wears a fasntaical costume that resembles a tutu. The bodice has a sweetheart neckline with draped shoulder straps. The bodice has pleated details along with silvery lace at the center front.
The skirt is made of hundreds individual pleated pieces of fabric in the shape of fans. The volume of these fan components really gives this skirt a tutu look along with the fullness of the skirt and hemline just barely coming to the floor.
There is also a matching detachable collar piece that goes around her neck. The collar stands up and is made from the same pleated fabric as the fans of the skirt.
Costume Designed by Jenny Beaven
Morgana le Fay from Excalibur
A cult classic based on the Arthurian legend. The costumes that Morgana, played by Helen Mirren, are all so wonderful and fantasy charged, because they are certainly not going for any semblance of historical context.
This costume that Morgana wears highlights her being evil “hiding in plain sight” mystic. It’s a dark purple and the neckline of the bodice make it look very angular which denotes more nefarious connotations.
The rest of the look has a tribal somewhat nomadic appearance which further separates her amongst the chivalry Arthurian court. This gives her a seductive and bewitching beguile to her which is just perfection .
Costume Designed by Bob Ringwood
Leta Lestrange from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The prequel Harry Potter franchise Fantastic Beasts films, take the wizarding world back in time to the 1920s. As such the costumes follow suit combining the late 20s with a magical aesthetic.
Leta Lestange, played by Zoë Kravtiz, is an aristocrat from a powerful wizarding family. Her costume while it does have the glamor associated with a member of the upper crust it is sleek and paired down.
It’s made from a stunning rich glossy warm purple fabric which showcases her prestige. The look of her dress is more 30s inspired than 20s. The neckline has a deep v with a collar lapel detail. The bodice has some gathering at the bust. The sleeves have a gathered hem and cuff made from the same fabric. There is a curved seam at the front of the dress which has an ankle length hem.
The coolest aspect of his costume is the cape which is made from the same fabric as the dress. Not only does it work to add a visual interest and elevate the costume but it adds to the sense of her character’s status.
Costume Designed by Colleen Atwood
This costume could easily be categorized in the period film section and it would not be wrongly placed there. But Back to the Future III is a fun sci-fi adventure so it’s here.
At the climax of the movie, school mistress Clara, played by Mary Steenburgen, wears a very popular style of dress from the 1880s. It features a jam-purple shade high neckline jacket garment with a darker contrasting mulberry purple fabric that makes up the center front. Button makes up the closure down the front.
The overskirt has horizontal gathers at the front. At the back of the overskirt there is a bustle. The underskirt and overskirt are made from the same fabric as the jacket.
She pairs this look with a smart hat and gloves.
This style of dress was very in style but the touch of silver in the buttons and trim on the bodice is a slight nod to the sci-fi genre.
Costume Designed by Joanna Johnston
The Lilac Fairy from Donkey Skin
Based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault, Donkey Skin is a 1970 French musical. Many of the costumes in this movie are beyond over the top and grand. They are in the same vein as the 1946 La Belle et la Bete’s costume.
The Lilac Fairy, played by Delphine Seyrig, functionally is the princess’s godmother who is trying to help the princess not marry her father, the King. She does this by telling the princess to ask for impossible garments that the King somehow managed to produce.
While the crazy gowns that Lilac Fairy tells the Princess to demand of her father as means for refusing a marriage are all amazing, the Lilac fairy’s costume itself is enchanting.
It’s definitely a lot simpler than some of the other costumes. As befits her name, it is a lilac colored dress with a large standing collar with crystal beads standing up from it. She has long sheer sleeves that are also made from a lilac color. Also used with this sheer fabric is a ruffle detail that runs down the frog center of the dress.
She also has a silver choker with purple stones that matches her wand.
Costume Designed by Gitt Magrini
Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian
The second installment of the Narnia franchise sees the Pevensie children returning to Narnia. And while a mere year has passed for them in England, 1300 years has passed in Narnia.
As the Pevensies explore the ruins of their former castle, Cair Parvel, Susan, played by Anna Popplewell, unearths this purple costume from a trunk along with some relics though not her horn.
The costume consists of a jerkin-like bodice with a gold sigil on the center front with a square neckline. The sleeves, outer skirt and waist tabs are all made from a tonal striped purple fabric. The under skirt is light blue. This costume also seems to be the basis for the battle ensemble that Susan wears at the film’s climax where she switched the jerkin and sleeves for some very cool red leather armor.
This costumes the perfect blend of Susan’s Queenly status and her action role with the film
Costume Designed by Isis Mussenden
Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games
We meet Effie Trinket, Elizabeth Banks, at the reaping at the beginning of the first installment of the franchise, it’s the first time the audience is introduced to the grandiose fashion of the capital which is a far cry to the misery and poverty of the 12th district.
For the reaping Effie wears a Victorian-esque inspired suit. The jam color jacket has long Leg of mutton sleeves. To add a little fair there is a bit of peplum that has a ruffle at the back which harkens to a bustle-like structure. The darker purple tone pencil skirt has horizontal gathering.
Large flowers at the neck and in her expertly coiffed hair pull this look more into the over-the-top realm.
The rich color of the costume is offset by the white color of her hair and make-up
Admittedly this isn’t even on Effie’s craziest look but it sets the tone for the Capital look especially with regard to the hair and overall styling. It’s iconic.
Costume Designed by Judianna Makovsky
Queen Amidala Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace
In The first episode of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Queen Amidala’s costumes are all very grandiose and large. This is used as a means of conveying her authority and importance not just in the context of the movie but to the audience. In film language taking up space in the frame shows dominance.
This costume is referred to as The Traveling gown as Queen Amidala, played by Natalie Portman, wears it when she travels back to Naboo to take matters in her own hands. She can also be seen wearing it later in the movie at Qui-Gon Jinn's funeral.
This costume looks simple in its construction but it’s not. The high necklined outer layer of the costume is made from a textured velvet. This component comes down to the pointed hem over the full skirt. The underskirt looks to be a very dark purple color and looks to have a pleated-like texture. The sleeves are very complex in terms of construction. The outer velvet layer of sleeve is split at the top and you can see the silk layer of the sleeves poking through much like a slashed sleeves. There are some fabric cover buttons keeping the velvet together. The outer layer hangs down low and has a bell shape which is lined with a gray-ish purple silk. The part of the sleeves with the most visual impact is the mid-tone purple silk layer. This silk layer is pulled, gathered and tucked in such a way that it gives the sleeves an inflated effect. There is then a tight black knit inner sleeve poking out covering her wrists and palms.
Completing the look is a rather unique purple veiled headpiece. The headpiece has dangling elements that have been called hair pockets but they do look remiscetic of pendilia which are the dangling ornaments of crowns. This dangling part has a criss-crossing beaded trim. The headpiece has a gold gown with the veil standing up with some wire creating a curved cascading down her back.
This look is very textural even if all the details show up in the movie.
Costume Designed by Trisha Biggar
Serafina Pekkala from The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass was the first film of what was meant to be a franchise of the His Dark Material trilogy. Unfortunately one movie was made and then the trilogy was rebooted into a TV show format in 2019.
Serafina Pekkala, played by Eva Green, is the enigmatic Queen of the Lake Enara Clan Witches. As she is a Queen it is only right that she wears a shade of dark purple. This outfit has a very Grecian inspired feeling to it. It looks to be made from a gossamer lightweight fabric which is ideal as she flies. The neckline is a deep wide v-neckline. The sleeves are wide and floor length which adds to the magical airy floating feel. There are two twist fabric waist bands. There is also a slightly heavier textured looking fabric draped on the waist at the center front and at the side.
This costume looks powerful and delicate and bewitching.
Costume Designed by Ruth Myers
Elizabeth Swann from The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
In the first installment of The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth Swann, played by Keira Knightley, is taken on board the titular pirate ship The Black Pearl which is cursed.
Prior to the reveal of the curse she is given this rich plum colored dress to wear when she dines with the captain. This gown was used a lot in the film’s promotion and is still one of her most iconic costumes from the franchise.
Compared to her other costumes this costume looks to be an older style. Though there seems to be some mixing of the 18th century decade in terms of fashion styles going on in this movie.
The gown has large sleeves that are gathered at the elbow with turned-back white lace cuffs, which is very likely the shift under layer. Along the gathering there is trim with a gold detail with a frog knot at the cuff. Another frog knot closure is at the center front of the bodice. It has a double layer open neckline with floral embroidery along the inside of the purple layer. The second exposed layer is black and under that is the shift layer.
This layer repeats in the skirt portion where the outer purple layer the inside floral embroidery and trim with a black middle skirt layer and then the shift under-layer.
The costume is both opulent and relaxed. It lacks any sense of pretension or fuss which is ideal for a fun pirate movie
Costume Design by Penny Rose