Even with the best care, pieces of fashion physically fade. Unfortunately, it’s happening to a pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers. One of the many pairs of shoes worn by Judy Garland in the film The Wizard of Oz is currently owned by the Smithsonian, which is attempting to preserve the film's relics against the aging process so movie fans can continue to view them for years to come. But the institution needs your help.
Despite being federally funded, the museum is still falling short on resources to not only repair the damage the shoes have already endured, but also to find ways of slowing down the deterioration in the future. And so the Smithsonian has turned to crowd-sourcing, starting a Kickstarter to raise the money.
“Movie costumes and props are made quickly and cheaply, to last only for the brief duration of the shoot, not forever. Now in their eighth decade, the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating,” reads the project’s page. “Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out. The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby color is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.”
The Smithsonian is seeking to raise $300,000, and there has already been a wealth of support. Currently, the page has raised over $200,000, and there are still 27 days to go in fundraising. There are a bevy of “thank you” gifts, including posters, t-shirts, and tote bags designed by Broadway costume designer William Ivey Long. Get in on the action, here.