Judy Garland's pinafore dress from 'The Wizard Of Oz',
Two departments vital to the success of the film were MGM's Wardrobe and Makeup, Wardrobe being headed by Gilbert Adrian. His previous designs for the studio's leading ladies were such that his name was well-known in the fashion world. He conceived at least four costume designs for Judy and test shots exist taken in August 1938 of her wearing three of these. None, however, were approved but by October a variation of one of them was chosen as the final, now-familiar design. According to MGM seamstress, Marian Parker, perhaps half a dozen of the dresses were made as this was Judy's principal costume and had to survive a long shoot.
The film took nearly six months to film, the longest to date in MGM's history, involved several changes of director and cost almost $2.8million, causing a good deal of consternation amongst the studio's executives! Such anxiety was to be proved unfounded and the film is now generally regarded as one of the all-time classics. It won Oscars at the 1940 ceremony for Best Score and Best Song and was nominated in four other categories. Judy was given a special Juvenile Award.
This dress was purchased by the vendor, Sotheby's New York, 15th December 1989, lot 238.
'The Wizard Of Oz The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History', John Fricke, Jay Scarfone and Wiliam Stillman, Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.
'Judy Garland', David Shipman, Fourth Estate, 1992.