Interesting facts about Judy Garland's ruby slippers
In the 1930's, costumes weren't something that had any value like it is today so they would either have been thrown away or hidden away in storage for countless years. Luckily several pairs of the ruby slippers were stored on MGM’s Culver City lot for the next three decades after production of The Wizard of Oz ended in 1939. 4 pairs of the ruby slippers were discovered in 1970 by costume designer Kent Warner while he was preparing for that year's historic auction of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) costumes, props and other production-related items.
4 pairs of the authentic ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz are known to exist, plus 1 pair of the "Arabian Test Shoes". This test pair never made it into the movie and is not counted with the 4 pairs, but it was still worn by Judy Garland for tests before being rejected by MGM for the more simple style shoes with red sequins and bows that became an icon of 20th century Americana.
Dorothy's magical shoes were "silver slippers" in the 1900 novel written by L. Frank Baum, however MGM's chief costume designer in Gilbert Adrian changed it to "ruby slippers" for Judy Garland to wear in their hit film. The decision was in order to take advantage of the gorgeous glitter effect on the slippers in their new advance in making Technicolor movies. Had MGM stuck with silver slippers, it wouldn't have stood out when filmed on three-strip Technicolor film, and therefore The Wizard of Oz would have been shot entirely in black and white film.
From the moment MGM decided that Judy Garland wear ruby and not silver-colored shoes, Gilbert Adrian ordered the ruby slippers to be made in two distinct styles. They were the "Arabian test pair" and "bugle bead shoes." Both styles were tested on Miss Garland then dropped and Adrian realized the final design of the ruby slippers. He added a bow, and determined that the shoes should be covered with sequins. This design was tested for color and appearance on screen and suited everyone's needs. It shined well under exceedingly bright lights and it fit the Kansas farm girl image of Judy Garland as Dorothy.
Judy Garland's ruby slippers are such an iconic item that even modern-day celebrities want to get their hands on them. In 2012, actor Leonardo DiCaprio with the help of other donors including film director Steven Spielberg bought one of the four known surviving pairs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The total paid for the sparkly red shoes is kept a secret, but it is considered to be worth about $3 million. Singer Lady GaGa also acquired a pair of the ruby slippers for her 25th birthday in 2011, however experts in ruby slippers believe this isn't a genuine pair that was made for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.
There's no records of how many ruby slippers were made for The Wizard of Oz, but there is estimated to be somewhere between 5 to 10 pairs according to The Wizard of Oz producer in Mervyn LeRoy, but only four pairs have been accounted for. At least one pair was made for Bobbie Koshay
, Judy Garland's stunt double. This pair is most likely the bigger size 6B pair that is currently owned by David Elkouby from Los Angeles since 2000. Two pairs in size 5 and one pair in size 5.5 were worn by Judy Garland who had smaller feet than Miss Koshay.
This is one of our stunning ruby slippers