Spartan Royalty: The Costumes of Queen Gorgo
The costumes of Gorgo - Queen of Sparta
Gorgo was the wife of King Leonidas, and was Queen of Sparta in the movie 300.
Throughout the movie she wears a number of outfits, ranging from the simple garb of her fellow Spartan women, to the luxurious robes of a Queen. This lens outlines all the outfits worn by Gorgo in 300, plus a couple of her concept design dresses, and those worn by the other women of Sparta.
"Only Spartan women give birth to real men."
This is the first dress in the movie that you see Gorgo wearing. I've named it 'Double strap' because there are 2 straps that meet at each shoulder.
You see this costume twice during the movie, in her first scenes, and again later when she is assaulted.
The fabric part of the dress has almost an identical shape to that of the Farewell dress, with the only difference being how it is attached to straps at the shoulder. The fabric starts and ends with pleating at each shoulder, then drapes straight down, and wraps around the back. A belt holds the front in place at the waist.
It is supposed that the shoulder straps are attached to the back of the belt - 2 of which extend vertically from the shoulder to the belt, while 2 others criss-cross straight across the back and attach to the belt where the 'vertical' straps attach. Each is joined to the fabric at the shoulder. There may be just 2 straps used here in addition to the belt - each beginning at the waistband, extending straight up to the shoulder, and crossing over to the opposite side.
If anyone has images or knows for sure what's going on with the back of this dress, I'd love to hear from you!.
Secret Meeting Dress
The Secret Meeting is one of Gorgo's most interesting dresses, yet it sadly has the shortest screentime of any of her costumes
The dress is supported by only two things - the band of thin gold pieces that sits around her shoulders, and by a waistband.
The dress is pleated where it attaches to the shoulder band, then plunges, flaring out into a dress with a train which is held up out of the way by draping it over an arm.. Apart from the skirt hanging from her hips, there is nothing but the 2 bands covering Gorgo's back in this dress.
*Since this costume is worn only briefly in a dark scene, there are no clear images of it. The costume image I have used above is of an official licensed figure of Gorgo in this costume which is believed to be accurate to the real dress.
Gorgo on Amazon
Queen Gorgo costumes and accessories
Gorgo's Pool dress is the only 'casual' dress she wears that is not attached to straps in any way. Rather, the entire dress is one big strip of fabric which is wrapped around her, and has a waistband which looks suspiciously like the Secret Meeting dress's gold shoulder band.
The dress begins in the center-front of her chest. It wraps straight around the back then joins back up in the center front where it narrows. It then extends up around the neck from the right, loops back down the front (crossing over the center-front again), and drapes down around the right, the back, then back around the front, crossing under itself so the end is hidden, and secured in place at the waist with the band. The dress's train is draped over an arm.
Again, this is one of Gorgos dresses that is not shown very clearly. There are decent images of the top half of the costume, but it is hard to determine exactly how the hem looks. Judging by the way it is wrapped around the hips and is draped over her arm, it can be assumed the bottom half of the dress is virtually identical to that of the farewell dress.
"Spartan. Come back with your shield - or on it."
The Farewell Dress is one of the most popular of Gorgo's costumes amongst costumers. It is simple yet elegant. This is the dress Gorgo wears when she farewells Leonidas and his Spartans as they leave to fight Xerxes armies.
The dress is a halter, which crosses across the back and when wrapping around the front supports it in 2 places - just under the bustline, and again at the waist. The dress is gathered at the bust, and flares out below the waistband to drape as a skirt.
"This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this."
The only non-white dress Gorgo wears in the whole movie. This dress is purple - a colour then associated with wealth, and is worn by Gorgo as she tries to persuade the Spartan council to send more soldiers to help her husband fend of Xerxes and his armies.
This dress is her most elaborately styled one, and I believe it may be made up of more than one piece of fabric, as opposed to the wrap-arounds she wears throughout the rest of the movie.
This may be different to how the dress actually is, but this is how I see it constructed:
The body of the dress is made of one piece of fabric, which begins in the front with a diagonal pleated cut running from the right shoulder to the left underarm, this wraps around the right side to the back, then mirrors the front with a diagonal pleated cut in the same manner as the front. The two ends are stitched together down the left side. The edges of the diagonal pieces are edged with a gold trim, and where the trim meets at the right shoulder, there is a small gold brooch which looks like a small version of Leonidas' brooch. I believe the sleeves are made separately. The sleeves are cut out as 2 rectangles, and edged along the long side with more of the gold trim. On the right side it is attached beneath the join at the
shoulder, hangs open over the shoulder, then the sides are joined together at a point about halfway down the upper arm, below which the sleeve hangs open freely.
On the left side, the sleeve is shaped in the same way, but is attached only to the underarm of the dress (since the dress is single-shouldered). It sits on the top of the shoulder, and the two ends are joined without any visible pin or brooch.
There is a belt worn with this dress also, and although there are no clear images of it, I can imagine the gold band worn with the secret meeting and pool dresses would be worn, to match with the gold theme.
Gorgo's Concept Dresses
Below is an analysis of the concept costumes of Gorgo as seen in the book "300: The Art of the Film". The pictures are only seen on two pages, so I don't recommend getting the book purely for these images. The book however has lots of beautiful art and information about the creation process of the movie.
I've made an attempt at describing how I think the dresses are constructed and in no way assume my guesses are correct. They are after all, 2-dimensional drawings showing just the front, so it is impossible to see how each would be constructed if it made it to screen.
Concept: Strap Dress
This design is my favourite concept dress. It is a one-shouldered dress with straps crossing over each other and supporting the fabric.
The waist on the right side is covered with the fabric, while the left side is bare, with 2 straps crossing over the top of the diagonally-hanging front section and hold it in place.
As with the majority of Gorgo's costumes, there is an attached cape off th left shoulder.
The back is open to interpretation, but I devised a method of working the straps so that they create a X shape across the back.
Concept: Purple Dress
This dress is actually identical to the Secret Meeting dress seen in the movie. The only difference is the colour has changed from the purple seen here, to white.
The dress is supported by an off-the-shoulder band made up of narrow antiqued gold coloured pieces of shell/ bone/ wood.strung together.
Where the dress is attached to the band in the front, it is pleated and drapes down, crossing over and secured at the waist with a narrow belt.
Concept: Assymetrical Dress
This dress is quite interesting, there's so much going on that it's hard to tell where it begins and ends!
At a guess, I would say the dress begins at the waist in the front, with a corner pulled up over the right breast and supported at the shoulder by a V-shaped strap (like with the double-strap dress). The dress then wraps around the back, up over the shoulder, and is fastened at the waist with a belt, The excess fabric at the shoulder loosely hangs over what looks like a proper long flared sleeve.
Concept: Necklace Dress
This dress is quite simplistic, but very pretty.
It begins in the centre-front at the necklace, wraps around the back and goes back to the necklace, covering the bust. It then drapes down to the right hip and wraps around the hips a couple of times before flaring out into a gigantic train which is long and wide enough to cover the top of the head, yet still hang to the ground.
Comic Book Dress
This is the dress Gorgo wears in the '300' Comic by Frank Miller.
It appears to be a Peplos 'Tube' dress, with the upper edges turned out and over, and is fastened at the right shoulder with a decorative clasp which holds it to a cape. The upper edge of the fold is decorated with a ruffle trim. There doesn't seem to be any sign of a belt. It may just be her hand, or the fabric may in fact be gathered up at the left hip to pull in the excess.
Gorgo costumes on eBay
Gorgo costumes and similar sewing patterns on ebay.
Although barely seen in the movie, Leonidas' mother is seen in two quite different outfits at the beginning of the film. The first is a one-shouldered wrap-around dress which is held in place with two waist belts. The skirt part is very gathered in the front, and a chunky gold bracelet is worn on the right wrist.
The second dress Leonidas' mother is seen wearing is only onscreen for a matter of seconds, and it is very difficult to make out the details.
I believe it is based off a Chiton, a common type of Ancient Greek Dress made from a large rectangle wrapped around the body, fastened at the shoulders, and left open down one side using a belt to hold it shut. Leonidas' mother's dress could be made from either 1 large wrap-around rectangle, or 2 smaller rectangles - one in front, and one in back.
The fabric is attached to the neckline's straps, as well as the 'underbust' strap. The back and front pieces both taper up to and are joined at the shoulder. The edges of the fabric attached to the straps are visible, sticking out at the shoulder, and the sides of the dress extend far beyond what is necessary, and are folded back on themselves to create a drape effect in the front and back of the arms. The drapery is supported by the underbust and waist straps of the dress, which (I believe) are threaded through holes at the 'sideseam' point in the front and back pieces, thus holding the sides together, but not hindering or pulling-in the vertical drapery. The front of the dress is flat, with no pleating, folds, or edges, so all the detail on this dress seems to be concentrated around the sides.