“Oz the Great and Powerful”

Mar. 8, 2013

Disney’s prequel to L. Frank Baum’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and MGM’s beloved 1939 film), focuses on Oscar Diggs, the young Wizard, who is played byactor James Franco. Oscar is a small time but ambitious Kansas magician who is swept up by a tornado and plopped down into the wonderful world of Oz. It’s there that he learns of a local prophecy foreseeing a great savior, and, convinced he’s the man destined for heroic things, becomes “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

While the film infuses the Oz legend with digital movie magic—recreating flying monkeys and dreamy forestation for the 3D crowd—the tradition of unforgettable Oz costumes endures. Costume Designer Gary Jones wanted Oscar to have a costume that was appropriate for the opening sequence, but that would carry him throughout the movie without fuss or bother. Because the image of the Wizard from the novel and movie is of a mature figure and this is a story about his early life, Jones didn’t want the character to be a costume parade. He wears a charcoal wool cutaway coat, a double breasted wool waistcoat with striped wool trousers tailored by Dodson Elliott, a white cotton formal shirt with detachable collar and French cuffs by Anto, and both wool and silk bow ties. His high-button boots have a built in spat and are from John Varvatos’ collection. His top hat was blocked and made by Worth and Worth, New York City.

“James Franco took each of these items, starting with the top hat, and made it seem he had been wearing them all of his life,” says Jones.

Oz fans of all ages will be able to enjoy the film in theaters beginning today.

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