In the spring of 1999, Vogue ran a six-page spread featuring model Audrey Marnay wearing a number of Queen Amidala's gowns from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
The buzz surrounding the film had already reached a fever pitch, but the Vogue editorial made it clear that the first Star Wars film(s) to be released in 22 years would be iconic, if only for the fashion.
Though Episodes I-III have gone down in history as some of the least well-received Star Wars movies, Padmé Amidala's wardrobe is perhaps one of the few things that made watching the trilogy worthwhile.
To get the full effect of just how big a deal Amidala's looks still are to this day, we've collected a list of each and every single outfit she wore in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Naturally, we ranked them.
This is not a nightgown from a galaxy far, far away. This is a nightgown from Sears. Amidala wore it, sure, but this was probably laundry day.
This dress wasn't given its fair share of screen time or closeups. From afar, it appears to have plenty of body, structure, and texture, but unfortunately we never get to see it.
This dress is not a dress so much as it's a set of drapes masquerading as a garment. Padmé's better than this and she knows it.
At some point, someone must not have informed Amidala that Tatooine was a dry desert planet where people literally have to farm water. The cloak is regal, yes, but it's also the sort of thing that would cause immediate dehydration.
This dress was meant to be breezy and casual for Padmé's visit to Tatooine, which it is. It could have stood for a bit of contouring, though.
Like much of Padmé's maternity wear, this dress just doesn't do a whole lot for her. Sure, it hides the fact that she's pregnant, but it's also just not particularly interesting.
This dress is actually PHENOMENAL, but we never actually get a chance to see it full on in any of Padmé's scenes. Unlike most of the things she wears while spending time with Anakin, this was the one time where she might have been thinking, "You know what? This black leather thing might not be so bad."
There are times when Padmé's just like, "I can't deal with the white foundation makeup or the hair pieces or the jewelry. Piss off." This is one of those times.
When Anakin decides to reveal to Padmé that he's ben having prophetic nightmares about her death, we see that her nightgown of choice is adorned in metal and an inordinate amount of beadwork. Metal + beads = uncomfortable to sleep in, girl.
There's not a lot to say about this one. It's the dress she gave birth in. It was white, which seems sort of impractical?
Most of the maternity clothing that Amidala wears during the films is purposefully oversized and shapeless because she has to hide per pregnancy from the public. Her relationship with Anakin is forbidden, and could be used against her as blackmail within the Senate.
Still, though, the entire affair is drab, lifeless and lacks any sense of Naboo's love of couture.
As a general rule of thumb, you can count on Padmé to wear disproportionately cheery things whenever she's alone with Anakin. She's convinced that he's not that bad a guy (despite being the only Jedi to wear black leather) and this is her way of showing it.
Why Padmé chose to wear two layers of thick, cotton-like clothing and baggy, heavy pants to a swelteringly hot desert planet is unclear. But she did. And it didn't look very good.
Neither Amidala's hair game nor her dress game were on point here, but you have to take into account that Naboo had just been invaded and her people were all in a state of mourning.
Both Padmé and her decoy are wearing dresses meant for battle. Let that sink in for a second. As if a flowing dress on the battlefield weren't ridiculous enough, these gowns just so happen to be made out of velvet, far from an ideal fabric for a combat situation.
The words "opulent" and "aubergine" come to mind when looking at this dress. It has all the hallmarks of a classic Amidala look—body and varied textures—but it misses the mark in terms of making her seem poised to act at a moment's notice.
One imagines that as she was packing for her trip to Tatooine, Padmé pulled out this puffy-shouldered affair and requested the frybread variant of her hair-bun look in order to work through some decisions. This isn't a solid look by any means, but rather it's a visual manifestation of her decision to choose better outfits in the future.
In addition to being a gorgeous, river-inspired gown, Padmé's funeral dress is also a clever deception meant to hide the fact that her newborn twins, Luke and Leia, are alive and safe. A fake baby bump was woven into the dress and prominently displayed during the ceremony.
Bonus: this scene also included a shot of Queen Jamillia, Padmé's successor who, though mourning, was stunting on everybody.
By Episode III, Padmé is quite pregnant and increasingly suspicious that her husband might just be in the process of becoming a Sith Lord. Never one to take people's advice about Anakin, Padmé travels to see him on a lava planet in a very sensible combat outfit customized to accommodate her belly.
Usually, when on the run from people trying to murder you, one wears clothes that make you difficult to spot or recognize. Of course, Padmé Amidala's no average person, and so she decides to wrap herself in a beautiful, attention-grabbing floor-length gown with a crescent headdress. In her defense, the dress does have a hood that she can use to obscure her face.
Bonus: here's the headdress from another angle and Queen Jamilla, who succeeded Padmé.
In her more carefree moments, Amidala tends to go for airy, flowing gowns with impractical trains and plenty of shoulder breathing space. This dress is no exception to the rule, but it's one of the only ones she wears to incorporate multiple shades in a single piece of fabric.
Amidala was trying very, very hard to ignore the fact that she was marrying a man who'd just murdered a bunch of children on his home planet when she was wearing this dress. One imagines that it wasn't all that hard to do, because the dress is dripping in pearls and lace.
Compared to most of Amidala's other looks, this dress has a recognizable real-world inspiration: Elizabethan fashion. This look went on to inspire RuPaul's Drag Race season 6 contestant Trinity K. Bonet.
There's a lot going on here. Padmé, disguised as a handmaiden, is listening as one of her decoys shares the official opinions of the queen that she's no doubt been trained to recite. The decoy's dress is a bold blend of Black Swan terror and Lydia Deetz soft-goth.
So here's the thing about Padmé. When she's not voting, reigning, or fighting separatists, she's actually pretty chill and very into core strength. She chose to highlight all of this during a visit to Tatooine with Anakin while he went off to murder a village of people.
Amidala's many costume changes actually play a vital role in the plots of Episodes I-III. As a major political power player, Amidala's under constant threat of assassination, necessitating her to move about the galaxy stealthily.
While on her way to Coruscant to cast her vote regarding the Military Creation Act, she disguised herself as a regular Naboo fighter pilot and chose Cordé, one of her handmaidens, as her decoy.
Cordé looked fantastic. But then this happened. Well played, Padmé. RIP Cordé.
Immediately following a foiled assassination attempt, Amidala rolls with the punches, pulls her hair up and back into a cornucopia and dons this very sensible, high-collared dress and jacket combination. It's right on the cusp of her Naboo-inspired "loud" looks and her more subdued personal taste.
By the time Amidala makes her way to Geonosis, the infamous Clone Wars have begun and she's become a battle-ready senator on the run. As a queen, she was luxurious and opulent to the point of being cartoonish at times, but as a fighter for the Republic, she's sleek, chic, and ready to throw down.
Even when she's relaxing a home with her handmaidens, Amidala opts for an intricate, embroidered kimono complete with flattened, fanned hair and a Veda pearl-encrusted headdress. Is it practical? Hardly, but that's never really Amidala's thing.
While representing Naboo to the Galactic Senate on Coruscant, Amidala typically chooses to take things up a notch and pull out her most striking, intimidating looks. The cloak's oversized shoulder pads are both fantastic and frighteningly garish. Her extensions, as one would expect, are sickening.
Even though it's not Padmé's most elaborate look, this is the gown that started it all. Before we knew how big a role Amidala would play in the larger Star Wars universe, the combination of this dress, headdress and hair piece(s) defined the character in a way that none of her dialogue ever could.
Disclosure: Fusion is partly owned by Disney’s ABC network. Disney also owns Lucasfilm and Star Wars.