On View
Taking the Stage Gallery
Taking the Stage
Designed by
Holder, Geoffrey, Trinidadian American, 1930 - 2014
Worn by
Mills, Stephanie, American, born 1957
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
cotton, lace, ribbon, plastic, elastic, and metal
H x W x D (On form (ab)): 32 1/2 × 20 × 18 3/4 in. (82.6 × 50.8 × 47.6 cm)
H x W x D (Flat (b)): 1 5/8 × 10 1/2 × 9 1/2 in. (4.1 × 26.7 × 24.1 cm)
This dress and belt were worn by Stephanie Mills as Dorothy in "The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz'" on Broadway. The short-sleeved off-white cotton dress (a) falls just above the knee and has a circle skirt with a flounce. The v-neck bodice has bust darts and ends at the natural waistline. The neck opening is outlined with decorative, machine-made, off-white lace that has a central ladder design bordered by flowers. Two (2) rows of this lace continue down the center-front of the bodice to the waist. Red grosgrain ribbon is woven into the middle of the lace. The full, pouf sleeves are elbow-length and have thin elastic strips sewn inside the hem, creating gathered cuffs. Each cuff is bordered with machine-made, off-white lace that has a design of large circles bordered by smaller circles, through which red grosgrain ribbon has been woven. Lace flounces with a floral design are sewn into the hem of each cuff and hang 2 3/4 inches below the sleeve.
The skirt is heavily gathered at the waist, creating a very full skirt. A 5 1/2-inch flounce with box pleats is sewn around the hem. Above this flounce is a strip of the same lace as on the bodice, also with red grosgrain ribbon woven through the center of the lace. Above the decorative lace and ribbon are two pin tucks. The dress closes at the center back with five (5) off-white plastic buttons. The bottom button is different than the others, and may be a replacement. A single hook-and-eye closure is placed at the interior center back waistline. The back of the skirt is open with no apparent closure method.
The belt (b) is made of a shiny red plastic, and has a square metal buckle faced in the red plastic.
Place used
New York City, Manhattan, New York, United States, North and Central America
Collection title
Black Fashion Museum Collection
belts (costume accessories)
Clothing and dress
Costume design
Musical Theatre
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

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