Judy Garland's Iconic Dorothy Dress Fetches $480,000 at Auction
EVERLY HILLS (KTLA) -- It's a simple blue dress worn by a young girl with big dreams who lives on a farm in Kansas, and now it's heading to a new home after selling at a Beverly Hills auction -- for half a million dollars.
Judy Garland launched to stardom as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 classic "Wizard of Oz," and film and memorabilia fans alike have resonated with the character for decades.
Dorothy's ruby red slippers are often regarded as the holy grail of Hollywood treasures, with many collectors battling for ownership over any of the 5 known pairs -- one of which was purchased earlier this year in an auction by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures for an estimated $2 to $3 million.
The sale of Garland's iconic blue gingham pinafore dress marked another milestone for the film, fetching $480,000 at an auction on Saturday, according to auction house Julien's Auctions.
The dress, designed by Adrian, is regarded as one of the only complete costumes with the white blouse and pinafore both intact and features a label that reads "Judy Garland 4461."
The last time the dress changed hands was at a Christie's East auction in 1981, when it was sold by Kent Warner, an MGM costume designer who acquired several costumes from the film as part of a liquidation of the studio's wardrobe department in 1970.
The winner of the auction has not been named.
There is some queen running around this morning in pig tails and this dress.
Not after paying almost half a million dollars for it, R1. It will be kept in a nice glass climate-controlled display case.
[quote]Judy Garland's Iconic Dorothy Dress Fetches $480,000 at Auction
That's it? Marilyn's "Happy Birthday" gown fetched $1.2 million in 1999, and last year the white halter-top dress she wore in "Seven Year Itch" sold for a whopping $5.6 million. I was certain Dorothy's gingham dress would fetch close to that, or at least above $1 million since the movie is a classic and the dress itself is iconic.
It must be very fragile. I read about an exhibition of the Gone with the Wind costumes at the V&A in London. They're mostly replicas. The originals exist, but they're just too fragile now. Conservation of fabric is a pretty tricky business.
I agree....it is shameful that this dress did not sell for multiple millions. Is Marilyn that much more iconic than Judy as Dorothy?? I think not.
Is that where Phil and Don live?
Outside of the white gay community, JG is not on the same level as Marilyn, Elvis or Micheal Jackson.
"There is some queen running around this morning in pig tails and this dress. "
Only if he's five feet tall and wears a women's size 0.
Judy was a size 8 if there ever was one!
Garland was a size 0? Why were they always on her about dieting, making her take diet pills, and calling her chunky?
R1 beat me to it haha!
Judy Garland was 4'10 or 4'11 inches tall and when she was in good shape she weighed 95 pounds. I don't know what size that would be the equivalent of. She had a strange build: short neck, barrel chest, long legs.
Oh what on earth are you on about R7. Do drop the generalisations, your one of many queens on DL and not a community spokesperson.
How do they know it's the one Judy Garland wore? Did they DNA test it?
I bet there were like 50 of the same dresses on the lot. It probably isn't really worth 48¢ much less nearly half a million.
the iconic memento from this film isn't the dress, it's the shoes. they sell for millions of dollars.
R15, those are Judy's sweat stains, and I should know!
I think it sold for less for several reasons:
1. People spent too much at the Reynolds auction (and other similar ones in the last couple of years).
2. The dress was in very fragile condition -- at least the blouse is. Looks like it's about to crumble.
3. 4 days after a long, grueling election season. Bad timing.
They should have auctioned it off (along with the rest) back in June, tying it in with what would've been Garland's 80th birthday
90th birthday, R18.
Looks like something from Kmart.
As it was Dorothy's only costume in the film, and had to endure all sorts of tribulations, you can be certain therer were at least 6-12 versions of it made.
There might even be different versions made for the b&w portions of the film and the color portions, as the blue in the gingham might read differently for Technicolor film.
Compared to the extravagant gowns churned out by the MGM wardrobe department, it was also a very inexensive and simply tailored garment, other reasons there would be multiple versions.
I would also be willing to bet that they varied slightly in size, depending on Judy's physical conditon each week of the grueling shoot. She was still a growing girl!
WEHT Scarlett O'Hara's green velvet curtain dress? I would think that one could be sold for more money than just about any other Holywood costume. It was also pretty sturdy and less fragile than some of the other iconic costumes.
Adrian Walter Plunkett
My dress has a stain on it
It probably stinks of cigarettes, gin, and regret.
Good points about the different colors used for the black and white vs technicolor parts of the film.
This dress doesn't look 'blue' at all, more of a darker purple, so perhaps it was used only in "Kansas".
I don't remember if they used a different color for the Kansas scenes or if they just filmed the regular blue gingham in black-and-white, but in "The Making of THE WIZARD OF OZ" by Aljean Harmetz it mentions that there was a sepia-colored dress made for the "opening door" scene, when Dorothy steps out of her house and into colorful Oz. The reason is because that particular moment was shot in color, so everything in the house had to be painted sepia, thus Dorothy's gingham had sepia squares and her hair ribbons were sepia, too, not blue. Incidentally, the sepia gingham dress was not worn by Garland but by her stand-in. The way they filmed it was, the stand-in (seen from the back) opened the door slowly to reveal colorful Oz, stepped out of frame, and then Garland in her regular blue gingham walked through the door.
Here's the scene: