Costume Studies, Creativity, One Night With The King

One Night with the King: Reading for Xerxes

“His arms will hold the bow, his arrows tipped with love.” – Xerxes

“Some archer’s arrows are tipped with poison, my lord.” – Esther
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, the symptoms are the same.” – Xerxes

This is the gown that Esther wears while she is reading for Xerxes.  It has some hidden details that I find fascinating.
This gown doesn’t have a separate bodice/skirt like many of those in the past studies.  It actually has a surprisingly modern style – with the faux wrap front. Take a look at my ‘sketch’ to see what I mean.
Whee! I keep trying different illustrating methods. I really like the way this one turned out.
I would guess this to be made of a chiffon type fabric, as it’s flowy and somewhat sheer.  The dress has several layers of fabric and flows down into a lovely skirt — I really can’t tell much about the skirt portion of the dress, as it’s not well shown. I can tell that it is somewhat full – it may be an ‘A-line’ style, possibly with a little more fullness in the back. The top ‘wrap’ layer flows free to the floor.
There is a sort of green/metallic gold trim along the neckline, wrap layer edges, and sleeves.  They don’t use it on any of the hems.
As you can see in the picture below, the neckline in the back scoops quite low.
The sleeves are just a single layer of fabric – they’re open along the top of the arm and are tacked together in two places – see pictures for a better description.  😀 Some things are just harder to put into words. The sleeves are also trumpet/bell shaped as most of her other sleeves have been – quite wide and flowy.
The edges are unfinished and frayed – I would guess the hem of the skirt is the same.
Now, my favorite detail about this dress?  The decorative darts!  If you look at my illustration, you can see that I’ve got some decorative stitching on the shoulders and at the waist — now take a look at the photos below:
Isn’t that neat!  Those darts definitely play a part in the shaping of the garment, as well as adding a decorative touch.  I love details like that!  The only problem with this outfit is that her lovely, lovely long hair gets in the way of being able to see it . . . but I won’t complain about that. 😛
I love hearing from you guys! So if y’all have any input or comments about this dress, let me know.

Greatly inspired,
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10 thoughts on “One Night with the King: Reading for Xerxes”

  1. Maryam,
    Thanks for the comment! I still have several costumes in the docket to do – but life hasn't allowed me the time to do studies for them right at the moment. Do you have a deadline? I would love to help, but things are seriously a little crazy for me right now.


  2. Hello, dear, I understand that these are probably quite old but could you do a study on her pink dress, the one with the pleated neck, wide sleeves, empire waist and crystal detailing at the waist and tops of the wrists? She only has it on for a few seconds when she's trying to decide if she'll risk her life and go before the King. I have a good idea in my head how one could reproduce it but two minds are always better than one. I hope to make it and wear it to a wedding. 🙂 Thank you!

    <3 Maryam


  3. Thanks for the comment John! That's great that you're a designer. I had wanted to be one at one point, but find myself going into a career that is based off of one of my stronger skills than designing.

    I am actually planning on doing the red, blue, and violet gown next, as yours is the second request I've received for it. That particular gown has a lot of interesting details. The only problem now is finding the time to do it – hopefully within a month. So keep watching!

    After that, I would be more than happy to do the library gown – though they made that one harder by not showing enough of it. 😀

    Thanks again for the comment and the request!


  4. I am a designer myself and I absolutely love this movie A.Because it was one of my favorite bible stories and B. because of all of the costume designs that caught my eye. If you could I would really like to see a study of her red, blue, and violet gown with the gold details (the gown she was wearing with the assassination attempt was found out, and her official gown ( when she meets up with Xerxes in the Library). I f you could that would be great!


  5. Bethany! Thanks! I know, I love it when costumes are simple but lovely — and the hidden characteristics in this one are fun too!

    I do a bit of graphic design on the side – so I decided to see if I couldn't do a costume design using my computer. I worked it up in a free program called 'Inkscape'. It's a vector program. I traced the model and then built the costumes on top of her. It was quite the process, and I fully plan on giving it another go.
    Thanks for the comments!


  6. This is a really beautiful costume! So much simpler than many of the other ones but not less gorgeous.

    What did you use to make your “sketch” of the dress? It looks amazing!


  7. Joanna! Thanks for the comment. I know — as I was doing the study, I realized how long it had been since I'd seen the movie. Definitely need to watch it again. 😀


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