Note that these shoes take approximately 3 months from the purchase date to complete.
My replicas are for display only. They are not suitable for being worn, as a number of the components are modified to allow for the most accurate look instead of supporting the weight of a person.
For your consideration are a handmade pair of reproduction ruby red slippers - made in exactly the same manner as the talented beading women of MGM Studios made the multiple pairs in 1938. As an FYI, if your slipper maker sews their sequins directly to the shoes, you are not getting shoes made the same way as the studio did it - each of the Spanish beading women who made the original slippers for MGM was easily able to sequin a complete shoe in less than one work day, which you can't do when sewing the sequins directly on to the shoe. How do I know? I have been researching the slippers for decades, and at this point I can tell you exactly how they were made, and even tell you with almost 100% certainty how many pairs were made, where each set was used in the film, etc.
The shoes being offered are the culmination of my decades of research and trial and error. I started making slippers when I was a teenager, using materials that were readily available at my local craft store – pre-strung 6mm sequins, acrylic jewels and rhinestones, and I relied on finding vintage shoes in a somewhat close shape at flea markets and thrift stores. From there my work evolved, going through numerous stages of production while trying to obtain what I consider to be the “perfect” supplies for slipper making.
The custom made components of these slippers are as follows:
Custom made size 5C base shoes. This is my most recent incarnation of base shoes, and I’m finally thrilled with how they turn out. I have been pursuing the perfect base shoe for over 9 years now. I have had many incarnations of custom made base shoes, with each new style coming closer and closer to what I considered to be perfect. This process involved locating numerous vintage shoe lasts and having base shoes made on them, and eventually having a number of sets of shoe lasts custom made, with the next set being modified so the final product would be more accurate. If you really examine the original slippers, you will see that they are not exactly a standard vintage shape – the toes are not actually completely round, but more almond shaped. The arches are significantly more prominent than other shoes from the era as well, something that ended up needing to be custom made on the shoe last to get the most accurate look. Even the heels are a somewhat rare Art Deco style that looks thinner from the side than it does from the back. All of these features are duplicated on the pair of base shoes being offered.
The base shoes are made from silk faille, the same fabric used on the original Innes Shoe Company shoes. The faille has a very slight lined pattern to it, which is visible along the bottom edges of the original slippers where the overlay does not completely meet the sole.
The interiors of the shoes are lined in leather, with canvas lining visible at the toes. I stamp the interiors with a manufacturer’s mark of my own creation, which is a combination of the beginning numbers and letters of the numbers in Robert Bauman’s slippers, with the size of these specific shoes replacing the “68” from her pair. Judy Garland’s name is also put on the lining of my replicas.
The wooden heels used on these are also custom made for me, created by duplicating a set of 1930’s Art Deco heels.
The soles of the shoes will be artificially aged to have cracked paint with some leather visible underneath. This helps to mimic the wear visible on the real slippers.
A few years ago I contracted for duplicates of the “Innes Shoe Company” heat embossing stamp, so all of my pairs of replica slippers feature a metallic heat embossed Innes logo on the insole of the right shoe. Up until the point I had this made, slipper replicators either used a rubber stamp with gold ink to make the stamp, or rely on cloth Innes Shoe Company labels that were modeled after Roberta Bauman’s Innes label. After I had this made, another slipper maker had a heat stamp made and claimed it was her idea… imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Custom made translucent burgundy sequins. Never happy with the look of sequins readily available, I pursued having my sequins custom made a number of years ago. Like my base shoes, the coloring of these sequins has evolved to be more accurate, while also being made in a number of different styles (deep red metallic, dark red and then burgundy translucent, deep red aged metallic, etc). The sequins being offered on this specific pair are the closest I have ever come to the coloring and look of the slippers as they appear now after 80+ years. This specific color was made only for me after a behind-the-scenes up close visit with the original slippers at the Smithsonian, which I was able to view outside of a case on two occasions in 2018. In person, the original slipper sequins are noticeably translucent, as sequins of their age will appear if not kept in the correct storage conditions. I took this information and coloring to my sequin manufacturer who was able to duplicate the base color onto a transparent sequin. I took this sequin and combined with every aging technique I had ever come up with, and the final look is something that nobody else can offer. The color of the sequins shifts from dark red, to burgundy, to brown, depending on the lighting. The aging techniques are more visible in certain lighting, and only when the light is directly hitting the aged spots. The slippers look even more accurate in person than they do in photographs.
Custom made bow components. The large Art Deco glass jewels used on my bows are custom cut deep red glass. The stones I am using now are the result of at least 16 attempts to get them right, with each order costing several hundred dollars.
Micro-thin bugle beads will also used on this pair, which allow the bows to remain accurately sized with an adequate number of bugle beads. These beads had to be custom made to be as thin as the beads used on the original slippers, which all measured around 1mm thick, with the exception of the first set of bows made and tested for production which used standard width bugles. I like the look of the thinner tube beads, so I use these exclusively on my pairs now. This bugle bead order cost $3,600, but the end result is worth it.
The rose montee (sew on) rhinestones that will be used on this pair are vintage, and are the only component not modern made. I aged the settings on these rhinestones so that they appear blackened and oxidized like the original rhinestones do now.
These shoes can be made with orange or yellow felt on the soles.
Replica Ruby Slippers - Aged Burgundy - 3 Month Production Time
Items in my shop are not returnable as I make an effort to describe them as accurately as possible alongside detailed photos.