Costumes from favorite films are often as indelible as any runway collection. Ask any fashion fanatic and they’ll rattle off a list of old standbys (Clueless, anyone?) as well as more esoteric selections, like Picnic at Hanging Rock or Belle de Jour.

The Victoria & Albert Museum has mounted an exhibition, “Hollywood Costume,” featuring the most iconic and influential costumes, with universal appeal. The clothes are grouped into categories like “Deconstruction” and “Dialogue,” and explore themes like the creation of character through costume and the relationship between the costume designer and filmmaker.


Curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis is herself a prominent costume designer, having worked on diverse films like Animal House and Raiders of the Lost Ark. For this exhibit, Landis’s biggest get comes in the form of the most coveted shoes in all of cinematic history: Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

After negotiations to receive a pair from private collections fell through, the Smithsonian Museum of American History generously offered up its pair (four pairs were made in total). The shoes, which have never left the country, will be reunited for the first time with Dorothy’s gingham dress in the exhibit.

If only getting to London to see the exhibit, which runs from October 20, 2012, to January 27, 2013, was as easy as a click of the heels.

Photo: Getty Images