I found this book called The Ruby Slippers of Oz by Rhys Thomas. It reads like a suspense filled detective novel. Keeping up with who just ran off with which pair of shoes...There were many pairs of shoes created for the Wizard of Oz movie. Miss Garland had several pairs and her stand ins had their own Ruby Slippers as well. The Witches shoes were the Slippers on the feet of the deceased Wicked Witch of the East. Her slippers had a much higher heel. (See the photo below)
Back to my personal fascination with the Ruby Slippers. All my life I have longed to own, touch, see, feel, and try on a pair of those slippers! They are a totem for my life. I have always made jokes in reference to OZ. "Somebody always helps that girl..." "These things must be handled delicately..."
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The Ruby Slippers of Oz tells a fascinating story of all the designers that worked on making those shoes and the drama behind the scenes of people trying to snatch them for their own financial gain.
Interesting is that there were possibly more than 12-17 pairs or slippers created for the movie. Judy Garland had several, the dead witch wore a pair with higher heels than Judy's. Margaret Hamilton wore a pair in the tornado scene (as the witch of the East). Debbie Reynold's has the the first prototype pair. (ugly ones) The first ones were supposed to be silver but they didn't photograph very well.
The fine print says: Protruding feet of the recently squished Wicked Witch of the East, shortly before she loses her shoes. Slipper fanatics will note a higher heel than on shoes worn by Judy Garland in the film
Arabian style ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Gilbert Adrian designed two different style for Dorothy's shoes but this arabian pair were too exotic and didn't suit the look of a Kansas farmer girl. In the original novel of L. Frank Baum Dorothy wore a silver pair of slippers but it was changed in benefit of the Technicolor.
This book though is a fascinating read with all the background drama that happened to all of these shoes. Drama continues to this day. And the fact that any of them exist is pretty miraculous as they were made of flimsy materials.
They weren't much of a shoe to begin with, just a plain cloth pump but the sequins, bow and red dye made the magic and all the difference...
Western Costume designer Joe Napoli is credited with designing the slippers.
Kent Warner found a few pairs of them while working on a back lot that were supposed to be discarded. He was smart enough to hang on to those slippers!
UPDATE: READ MORE ABOUT THE RUBY SLIPPERS BY RANDY STRUTHERS
The history of the pair that we all own is quite interesting. Here's what I've come to understand through my personal research. The Smithsonian's slippers, as they exist now, are actually a mix of shoes from two different pairs made for production. Look extra closely and you might notice that the right shoe has a slightly thicker heel and the left shoe has a slightly thinner one.
These slippers, probably worn the most by Judy Garland of all the sets, and being comprised of shoes used in three separate close-up shots in the beloved film, are arguably the most important pair of Ruby Slippers that exist. Full Story Here