Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Bewitching Baubles of Oz Pt. 2

“Take your army to the haunted forest and bring me that girl and her book”

“On an ordinary day, in an ordinary place, something extraordinary happens. It is here in this story that our modern day Dorothy decides to take the journey of self discovery. In her tattered apartment building a curious world comes to life all around her. The ill-tempered but glamorous land lady becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. The sweet next door neighbor, who's always there to watch over Toto, becomes Glinda the Good Witch. The kids from apartment B are the munchkins, and the strange woman who works at the taco stand becomes her enemy and friends at the same time.

Somewhere over Downtown Los Angeles, a bright rainbow appears beneath a cloudy sky. The stairs become the yellow brick road which will lead Dorothy on her journey to Emerald city. Perhaps we all live in the land of Oz? Sometimes we all just need to leave our ordinary lives, if only for one day, to realize that there is no place like home.”

And so is the story of Tarina Tarantino’s My Pretty collection book. The Wizard of Oz is brought into the 21st century with evident respect and affection for the source material. Tarina Tarantino has designed an oz-stravagant re-imagining of the 1939 classic. The exquisite photography of Albert Sanchez was shot entirely on location at The Sparkle Factory.

This 52 page book is a steal for only $8. The book is almost entirely void of text, but Oz book enthusiasts may want to consider adding this book to their collections as the lavish imagery more than makes up for lack of wordage. There’s even a little nod to the original work as Dorothy is attired in a green frock at Emerald City just as she was in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

My Pretty ingeniously illustrates the universal appeal of the Oz story. We may feel our lives are hum drum and experience frustration on occasion, no matter where we roam, how wondrous the journey, true contentment and the power to conquer our dissatisfaction lies within ourselves.

As you page through the oversized soft cover book, key scenes are re-created showcasing select jewelry from the collections of My Pretty, Clockwork Punk, Dollars and Sense, Electric Butterfly, Electric Koolade, Victorian Navajo, City Girl L.A., and White Widow.

Tarina Tarantino has assembled a stellar cast to epitomize our favorite characters.

A luminous Kelly Osbourne is Dorothy’s kind neighbor later transformed into the ravishing Glinda the Good. Kelly was selected for Glinda because in her, Tarina Tarantino could see innocence combined with rock ‘n’ roll. Duality she says, that is also shown in her jewelry.

Debi Mazar is the pesky, testy, vamp of a landlady, forever scheming to evict Toto. Debi exudes the sleek sensuality desired for this role. Once in Oz, she is a mesmerizing menace, channeling Gale Sondergaard, MGM’s original casting choice for a glamorous Wicked Witch of the West.

We follow ingénue Holly Owens as our sweet Dorothy Gale, while she ventures to Oz and back learning valuable lessons along the way.

Larva X is the frienemy from the taco stand and works it as Oz quad Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Nikko the winged monkey.

Tarina Tarantino’s own munchkins Chloe and Olivia Campos pose as Oz’s diminutive denizens.

Tarina Tarantino herself puts in an appearance as the great and powerful woman behind the curtain.

As beautiful as the ladies of My Pretty are, they merely serve as lovely displays for the real stars of the collection book…