Would You Sell Your Sole For These Shoes?
One of the most famous pairs of shoe ever, was Dorothy's ruby red slippers in the Wizard of Oz. All she had to do was click them and wish she were home. But they were actually an invention, or shall we say adaptation made by studio artists, because in Frank L. Baum's original book version of the Wizard, Dorothy wore silver shoes. Apparently the red ones showed up better on film, and the rest as they say, is history.
As with all films, major characters have stand-ins, and so did the shoes. As many as seven pairs were manufactured, with at least four surviving the 1934 classic film's wardrobe department. One pair resides in the Smithstonian Museum, and one pair that did not have bows were reportedly smuggled out of MGM's lot, prior to a 1970 sale of memorabilia. Actress Debbie Reynolds holds a pair that were known as the "test shoes", which apparently were never actually worn in the movie. The other four pairs remain in the hands of private collectors, some of whom have refused to allow public inspection of the treasures.
The most expensive "ruby slippers" however, were not actually slippers but stiletto high heels, designed by Stuart Weitzman as a tribute to the Wizard of Oz. The pair of high stepping shoes were made from spun platinum thread, and used nearly 700 round and oval rubies on the network of elegant straps. The total weight of the gems was 100 carats, hiking the shoes estimated value to $1.6 million dollars..
In 2003, the shoes went on display briefly at Harrod's Department store in London, England, before being whisked off to a vault with round the clock guards, as they awaited a buyer.