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Click your heels together three times: Dorothy's ruby slippers come to London

  • @matildbattersby

The original ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939) will go on public display in Europe for the first time ever.

The sparkly shoes, on loan from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, will be displayed part of the Victoria & Albert museum's major autumn exhibition, Hollywood Costume.

They will be reunited with Dorothy's white and blue gingham pinafore dress for the first time since Garland wore them.

One of the most famous lines from The Wizard of Oz is "Click your heels together three times and say 'There's no place like home' and you'll be there."

The ruby slippers were designed by Adrian, MGM Studios’ chief costume designer and Hollywood’s foremost designer of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Screenwriter Noel Langley is credited with changing the silver shoes to ruby in his film screenplay - red being the most vibrant contrast against the ‘yellow brick road’ at a time when a Technicolor film was still a novelty.

Each year the slippers attract millions of visitors to the Smithsonian. They will be on loan to the V&A for four weeks as a result of "exhaustive negotiations" between the museum's guest curator Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis and the American archive.

“The Ruby Slippers transcend Hollywood costume design and have the power to transport us to the limits of our imagination," Landis said. "These precious shoes exemplify the best of cinema storytelling because they evoke memory and emotion.” 

Their loan was confirmed less than a month before the show is due to open on 20 October.