No, this isn't Kansas. Warner Brothers and Tonner Dolls have combined forces with 20 fashion designers to create one-of-a-kind dolls to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz movie. Designers like Reem Acra, Betsey Johnson, Chris Benz, Byron Lars, Donna Karan, Jenny Packham and Colleen Atwood to name a few, sketched and created couture ensembles for the collectible Tonner Dolls.
Above are a few preview sketches from different designers. They were tasked with re-imagining the characters of Glenda the Good Witch, The Wicked Witch and of course, Dorothy herself. Byron Lars re-imagined a post-apocalyptic Dorothy who has been hardened by the loss of her dog and fighting it out against the world. Yours truly contributed the graphic designs for the tattoo and t-shirt to this doll.
Reem Acra re-designed Dorothy's classic gingham ensemble as an elegant ballgown. Carmen Marc Valvo gave Glenda a modern red carpet makeover. Betsey Johnson interpreted Glenda as a punk godmother, eerily similar to herself. Lyn Paolo (top) saw the Wicked Width as a vintage vamp. Douglas Hannant saw the sorceress as sexy screen siren in fur. Watching the process, I can tell you that Tonner Dolls handpainted the facial features onto each doll (they definitely don't mass manufacture the fierce attitude I saw on the Byron Lars doll!) Each designer was responsible for making the unique outfit that the doll wore.
The actual dolls will be unveiled at the Fashion Institute of Technology to coincide with NY Fashion Week. The dolls will be up for auction to benefit Habit for Humanity as part of their "There's No Place Like Home" campaign. Habitat for Humanity is an organization whose mission is to build decent, affordable homes for low income families around the world.
I know I personally fantasized about Dorothy's flared blue gingham dress and the big pink pile of organza that was Glenda's ballgown when I watched the movie as a child. You can see it inspired plenty of other fashion creators like myself. The fact that it brought so many of them together for a great cause is that much more beautiful. I can only hope they present them on a giant yellow brick runway...