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The White Witch
Fabric and Sillhouette



Jadis' first six dresses (Turkish Delight, Ice Castle, Sleigh, and Smoke, Parley, and to an extent, Deep Magic Regalia), while uniquely made and colored, have the same distinct technique for fabric and the same general shape.

Fabric

"The fabric we created for her dress is directly related to ice images... .  The first layer is a velvet dyed with resist areas for a modeled look.  The second layer is felted wool and silk.  The raw materials were dyed  and then felted to fit the shape of each dress.  The sheen of the silk is what gave us icy lines and begins to create the depth.  The final layer is the lace.  This is metallic thread and organza pieces, also dyed, sewn onto a burn out fabric.  We would draw the ice crackle from a small scale to a larger scale at the hem of the dress.  This gives us the illusion of height, she is a giant.  Then a seamstress would machine endless amounts of thread over the lines and finally we would burn out the back.  Each panel was made this way for all of the six dresses.  Once the lace was ready we would hand sew it on to the felted dress and then and only then the dress would truly come to life.  Tilda use to comment on how amazing it was when we would lay on that last layer.  It was always a little piece of magic."

~Our Exclusive Interview with Costume Designer Isis Mussenden

 

The lace is obvious - it seems to appear like a fine chain stitch all over the dress like a web. Nearer the hem the lace spreads out to a larger area, and we start to see the organza pieces in ice shapes, bordered by the lace. See tips for recreating the fabric in the Construction section.

Some of the best images we have of the fabric, that show the layers and details, are below. Hold the mouse over some of the image for insight as to what the picture is. Since we don't have a running commentary during the behind the scenes, we can only speculate as to the process and the materials there.

Super high-rez images ~ courtesy the Photobox


High-rez Exhibit images ~ thanks to Marianne!

from the El Capitan Theatre
high-rez
from the El Capitan Theatre
high-rez
from the El Capitan Theatre
high-rez
from the El Capitan Theatre
high-rez
from the El Capitan Theatre
high-rez


Disney MGM Studios Exhibit ~ courtesy Cynthia


higher rez

higher rez

higher rez

higher rez

higher rez

higher rez

higher rez

Behind-the-Scenes Fabric Construction

Assembling felt for Deep Magic gown - there's some kind of bottle containing a liquid to be sprayed on the wool
felted wool and silk? for Deep Magic gown - there's some kind of bottle containing a liquid to be sprayed on the wool
Close-up of Deep Magic regalia wool
close-up of Deep Magic regalia wool
Close-up of wool at similar stage for another gown - Ice gown, perhaps?
Close-up of wool at similar stage for another gown - Ice gown, perhaps?
Sheets of lace and organza pieces hanging
sheets of lace and organza pieces hanging
Wool drying on rack - either predyed or for Parley gown
wool drying on rack - either predyed or for Parley gown

 


 

Shape

Bodice

The dress is formed so that it seems to retain its shape. The bodice is stiff from neck to waist, where it is fitted to below the hip. It's shaped like a cone up from the waist. The portrait neck is cut straight across, rounded out from the neck. Note the way the fabric folds up around the bodice in some instances, for example, here (ultra high resolution).

Especially so on Ice and Parley, the curved back neck stiffly extends up and off the back.

Our one glimpse of the corset is in this image. The Illustrated Movie Companion shares that the corset kept Jadis' posture so stiff that she could not sit down very well while wearing it.

Super high-rez images ~ courtesy the Photobox

Sleeves

The neck curves around the shoulders and forms short sleeves. These sleeves extend out, broadening the shoulders, and taper down to the arm. See notes on Deep Magic's sleeveless cut on its own page.

Skirt

We get a small glimpse of the crinoline in this image. The width, length, and train varies from dress to dress.

Super high-rez images ~ courtesy the Photobox

Seams

As to seaming, we know that the dresses were handstitched, so that, as Isis Mussenden explains in the Movie Companion, one could walk around Tilda 360 and not see any seams. As to the actual pieces, we can see some seams on what looks like the wrap that is holding the skirt up. Whether this is actually the underside of the skirt itself or not we don't know. It looks to be princess seamed, whatever it is.

Super high-rez images ~ courtesy the Photobox

 

 


 

 

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