Saturday, October 06, 2012

Dorothy’s slippers do London for a limited time

The original Dorothy's ruby slippers as worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939) are coming to London. The celebrity shoes will feature in the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. On loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, the iconic pair will also be joined by Dorothy's blue-and-white gingham dress. The original pair been loaned exclusively to the V&A for a limited time only and on their return, replica of the slippers will be on display. It is alleged that Dorothy's slippers were originally silver, but were resigned to be red as they contrasted better against the yellow brick road. There were four original pairs of Dorothy slippers the Smithsonian's have one pair, as does the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, another pair is privately owned and the fourth pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota in 2005. The slippers were designed by MGM Studios' chief costume designer Adrian Greenberg and realised by Western Costume Company's veteran shoemaker Joe Napoli. Made of red satin and covered in large sequins with a large centre bow edged with red glass bugle beads, crystals, and three emerald shaped crystals, the shoes are in fact a deep garnet, not the bright scarlet that they appear on screen, due to the Technicolor lighting that was used at the time.

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