Fairy Tale Magic - The Wizard of Oz
Costumes and photography: Aubrey McDaniel
Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is characterized by fantasy storytelling and vivid characters, and the musical has become an American pop culture icon. Aubrey wanted the costumes she created to pay homage to the original film.
The Wizard of Oz was Aubrey’s favorite movie as a child and remains one of her all-time favorites today. McDaniel’s grandmother was named Dorothy, and she passed away when Aubrey was a child. “I think that’s one more thing that made the movie so near and dear to my heart, as I felt a connection to her name.”
Aubrey really wanted to create outfits as closely as possible to the costumes used in the original film. To achieve this look she chose LLK's Mori and Animazing patterns. Both of these patterns allowed her to stay true to the original film couture, while keeping the modifications to a minimum.
Aubrey used the Mori cuffed, puff sleeve; she reversed the bodice construction and trimmed it with a non-gathered version of the neck ruffle. Mori lends itself to mimicking the high collared neckline of Dorothy’s dress, perfectly duplicating Dorothy’s look. Mori’s full skirting has such wonderful volume. When layered beneath Animazing, it completely eliminated the need for a petticoat.
The Animazing skirt was the perfect base to recreate Dorothy’s gingham overdress. It has a lovely, vintage feel and pairs beautifully over Mori. Aubrey modified the straps to be exposed on the outside of Dorothy’s dress and added a decorative band of gingham, cut on the bias, at the bottom of the skirt. The band served as both decoration and added length.
Scarecrow was always Aubrey’s favorite character because of the juxtaposition of his feelings about his inability to think (due to the absence of a brain) contrasted with the fact that in reality he was the most intelligent and thoughtful character in the story. Aubrey’s scarecrow costume was fashioned from Eze, Sausalito, and Oakland patterns. Eze was made with a smaller brim and looked exactly like Scarecrow’s hat; it only needed to be slightly modified to come to a point at the top.
Sausalito was perfect for the Scarecrow’s shirt. It was constructed without the hem band or sleeve cuffs to more accurately recreate his look. As a finishing detail, the edges were left unfinished and unhemmed to more closely resemble the Scarecrow’s disheveled, tattered clothing in the movie.
The scarecrow’s pants were made using LLK’s Oakland pattern with an elastic hem and a few decorative embellishments like patches and hay to replicate the film attire.
Aubrey loved being able to share this experience with her children. Watching the movie with them gave her such a sense of nostalgia, while also feeling new and exciting as she was hearing their thoughts, and in a way, seeing Oz through their eyes for the first time.
She cherished bringing their favorite characters to life and watching their excitement and joy as they started to feel like they truly were a part of the film - especially with a story that means so very much to her.
As a child Aubrey understood Dorothy’s desire to see a bigger, better, and more beautiful world somewhere far over the rainbow. As an adult, her discovery that “there’s no place like home” resonates far more.
She truly understands what Dorothy means now when she returns (wakes up) back home in the end and says “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.” There truly is no place like home, with the ones you love around you.