Thus far I haven't seen anyone working on this costume, so I thought I'd make a thread. You'll have to forgive the photo quality, I'm using my cell phone.
The White Witch (Jadis) is Tilda Swinton's character in the most recent film version of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She has several really beautiful costumes throughout the movie, but this is the one I wanted to replicate:
Eventually I hope to build all the components of the costume myself - skirt, vest, ruff, wig, crown, and wand. The wand is probably going to come last. It used to be available from Museum Replicas, but even if they were still selling it the price tag is a little steep for me. I'm hoping to cast it out of clear polyester resin. I won't be carrying a sword, too much trouble at cons.
The first challenge I tackled was the wig and ruff. Jadis has a big ole pile of hair up top on this costume. Throughout the movie you see that she has dread locks, and here she also has a lot of free-flowing hair on her head. The ruff is a lion's mane attached to her collar. My hope was to make all of this out of one type of fiber.
This is Kanekalon braiding hair. I ordered it from I Kick Shins. Much cheaper than buying a lion mane from NFT, and it's often used to make artificial dread locks.
I started off making the dreads. Here's a before and after:
To make the dreads I followed this Instructable. The Kanekalon I bought has a very slight kink to it, so it locks really nicely. I don't know if it's just because I'm a beginner or what, but making the dreads took a REALLY long time. I sealed each lock with a ceramic hair straightener.
After I finished a small pile of dread locks, I looked to the rest of the hair for the head piece. Essentially I just needed it to be a little crunchier than the natural texture of the Kanekalon. To work with the hair without it going everywhere I used a clothes hanger hook and tied an overhand knot, which I then attacked on all sides with hot glue. This makes manageable locks that don't come apart. By tying the hair off in the center I got the length I wanted for the head piece. This braiding hair is about 48" long in total. For the collar fur I simply cut the hair in half and tied it off in the same fashion.
One thing I would strongly recommend if you decide to work with Kanekalon is to comb it out almost continuously while you work it. The stuff tangles insanely easily, and it's a pain to keep pulling out knots.
To crunch up the hair I used a solution of Elmer's glue in water, about 1 part glue to 4 parts water in a spray bottle. I lightly spritzed the hair and then steamed it with the flat iron. This is the same process I used to texture the hair for the collar, though for the ruff I used more of the glue solution to get an even stiffer texture.
Here's some of the super-crunchy hair for the collar:
The hair for the head needed to be big and poofy, too, so while it was still slightly damp I went at it with a hair dryer on high.
Once I had a big mound of hair prepared, I needed to get the crown ready so that I could attach the hair to it.