Dress To Kill – The Wicked Witch of The West

Welcome to the third edition of Dress to Kill – the column where you can play master criminal and steal the style of the well-dressed villains we all love to hate. Now fly, my pretties, fly!

The Wizard of Oz is a cultural touchstone; everyone wants to shimmy their way down the yellow brick road singing their hearts out, and that spa in the Emerald City? Perfect. Please dye my eyes to match my gown!

Judy Garland was the cutest, but Dorothy’s just a bit too squeaky-clean farm-girl for this column. No, the true star in Oz’s sky was the Wicked Witch of The West, swooping in with a sense of drama and style that Glinda would give her puffy pink skirts for. That massive crystal ball? Those guard’s uniforms? The monkeys? In another life, her couture collection would have been insane.

The Witch is like a dark smoke cloud; voluminous, menacing, and dressed head to toe in black. On the high street, she’d be most likely gliding through the aisles at All Saints, so go for a grown-up goth touch with your outfits. And this feathered cape from Biba combines her sinister style and the wings of her genetically engineered minions. Great for flapping around in the Haunted Forest.

As is shown in her final scene, the Witch is, sadly, water soluble. It begs the uncomfortable question of how she ever washed her hair, and truthfully there is probably a reason why she always wears that pointy hat. (Greasy roots are so distracting when you’re trying to avenge your sister’s death.) If you too have developed an aversion to showering, then I will both empathise with your struggle and push you towards the dry shampoo aisle. Batiste is the only name you need to know; at less than £3, why would you bother with anything else? My favourite is the Monochrome version, which smells vaguely spicy and comes in a chic black and white can. It’s much more suited to the Witch’s gothic palace than the neon-clad scents.

Green foundation is a bit much for everyday; but if you’re after the witchy vibe, paint those talons in emerald. If you’re feeling a bit daring, coloured lipstick is the final frontier of fashion – use a pencil to stop your natural lip colour bleeding through, and try to eliminate any redness in your skin first. OCC Lip Tar is the modern fashion-goth’s standby – check out their range of weird and wonderful shades.

We don’t see the Witch’s shoes; but we do know that she really wanted those ruby slippers. (Fun fact – in the original book they were silver, but the producers changed it for the film to show off their colouring skills.) Red glitter shoes can veer into the costume-y, and with the tottering heels that most Dorothy replicas have, it’s all a bit teenage Halloween. Tone it down (though not by much!) with a pair of flats; perfect for flapping around on your broomstick.

If you’re more goth-chic than glorious technicolour, then take your fashion inspiration from the Wicked Witch of the West – after all, you need a few storm clouds to make a rainbow.

Article reproduced here was originally published by the website of Impulse Magazine (March 2014) and is no longer available online. 

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