Return To Oz

In terms of costumes, Dorothy Gale from the 1939 silver-screen gem The Wizard of Oz is as iconic as it gets. While nothing can match the ruby slippers, gingham dress, and wicker basket all worn by Judy Garland's Dorothy, right now, that outfit isn't exactly relevant to what's going on in fashion. That said, we'll make the argument that Oz is influencing us in a slightly different way. Rather than looking to that classic film for inspiration, for today's installment of Currently Channeling we're taking clothing cues from the slightly odd, completely ridiculous follow-up flick-Return to Oz. And instead of holding the heroine's style up for emulation, we're much more intrigued by the sequel's amazingly attired antagonists: Princess Mombi and her evil henchmen, The Wheelers.

While it's true that the star of RTO (a young Fairuza Balk of The Craft fame) wears a mutton-sleeve frock well, it's the maniacal Mombi who really steals the sartorial show with giant puffed-shoulder dresses, frizzed curls, and architectural gold jewelry. Mombi's vile bodyguards are just as tricked out in high-eighties gear, think: bright-and-bold Boy George-style eye makeup, lots of metallics, and vividly dimensional jackets. As for why their wardrobe is so wonderful, it's worth nothing that the movie, which is set in 1899, was filmed and released in 1985-an era that some of the most influential designers like Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana mined for inspiration for their F/W 09 collections. We think Princess Mombi and crew would feel right at home on those runways and in the pieces selected for this month's edition of Currently Channeling: Return to Oz. Needless to say, being bad never looked so good...

Retrosun Vintage Cazal Sunglasses ($220)
Even before Dorothy finds herself back in Oz, she is confronted with the nefarious Dr. Worley, an electro-shock pushing physician who introduces his young patients to his high-voltage contraptions by pointing out the pieces resemble a face. Though these Retrosun glasses may not conduct electricity, we love the mixed metal frames of these retro-chic shades!

Topshop Ultimate Jeweled Jacket ($410)
Another villainous force in the film is the Nome King, the leader of the immortal rock fairies whose faces appear (via clay-mation) in the jagged surfaces of the mountainside. This Topshop jacket may not have any anthropomorphic features, but the beaded waterfall cropped coat is the perfect power piece to update any fall ensemble!

David Lerner Spandex Equestrian Style Leggings ($204)
Like Alex and his Droogs in A Clockwork Orange, Return to Oz has its own band of well-dressed troublemakers wreaking havoc on The Emerald City: The Wheelers. This punk gang who have wheels in place of hands and feet zoom around the city terrorizing Dorothy, wearing neon-colored jackets and pants. Though these David Lerner leggings are monochromatic, the shimmery material and equestrian patches would be aerodynamic and eye-catching; the perfect costume for any antagonist with a need for speed. Be sure to check out the Latex Leggings ($102) and similar styles available on the designer's website.

Alexander McQueen Red Faithful Glove Clutch ($994)
One of the creepiest-and coolest-aspects of the malevolent Princess Mombi's look is that she collects the heads of her subjects (which she stores in glass cases in her closet). Depending on her mood, she decides which one is most suitable and mounts it on her headless body. Though this McQueen clutch isn't quite as savage, the two-in-one piece comes in a crimson hue and has a detachable glove for those evenings you feel like switching it up. Additionally, we also like Aldo's Arzachena Clutch ($13); it's a zipper-adorned, handheld alternative in an equally bold blood-red hue.

French Connection Softly Stretch Dress ($188)
At the mental institution, Dorothy is tended to by the surly Nurse Wilson, who, despite the 1899 setting, is rocking eighties-inspired strong shoulders. Her black mutton-sleeved dress may be a bit too costumey for real life, so instead opt for this French Connection dress with ruffled shoulders to add a little drama to your LBD collection!

Marc Jacobs Suede Molded Ankle Boots ($900)
If Princess Mombi were to pick her favorite F/W 09 collection, there is no doubt that Marc Jacobs would be her designer of choice. We can't help but think that she would look pretty wicked in Jacobs' sculpted silhouettes, floral brocades, and strong capes and coats. These Molded Ankle Boots, with their powerful-platform, dramatically shaped sides, and metallic orb detail, are the ideal final touch to any Mombi-endorsed ensemble. If you want a couple wallet-friendly versions try Topshop's Amaze Sculpture Heel Boots ($170) or Carvela's Study Studded Cuff Ankle Boots ($243) for two sinful shoe alternatives. After all, even the soulless can rock a great pair of soles!

Mawi Emerald Heart Necklace ($446)
Though keys are worn throughout the film on bracelets and necklaces, another prominent symbol is the emerald orb. This pendant piece from Mawi-an amazing line of antique and costume jewelry-reminds us not only of The Emerald City, but also of the green eyes of our metallic hero, Tik-Tok, who proves his mettle time and time again by saving Dorothy and her friends.

Dolce & Gabbana Intense Nail Lacquericon ($20) in Stromboli
In Return to Oz, Princess Mombi's manicure is a shimmering shade of gold. Though we like a heavy metal hand, we are also quite fond of this 14 karat-flecked greenish black color from one of our favorite new beauty lines, Dolce & Gabbana's The Make Up, to help you get an Oz-worthy finish!-KM