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Elizabeth Taylor: Fashion, Fortune and Femme Fatale

July 25, 2011

Earlier this year, the world bore witness to the loss of one of the most celebrated movie star and fashion icon, Elizabeth Taylor. At the time of her demise, Taylor had earned a place as one of Hollywood’s most elite starlets. Additionally, the doe eyed actress indelibly made her mark as a much emulated fashion icon. So far-reaching was her influence and fame that a painting of the famed actress recently sold for $ 27 million! The portrait,  ‘Liz No.5’  is a 1963 silk portrait of the famed actress by celebrated artist Andy Warhol.

Her fame was never eclipsed, even in the era of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, Taylor continued to shine. With natural glamour and serene sensuality she broke through the restrictive salaries imposed on female film stars and inspired generations of young fashionistas throughout her lifetime. One of Taylor’s most enticing qualities was the ease, in which she made simple, nearly mundane clothing seem superior and magnificent. As a 1960’s icon, Taylor had the uncanny gift of effortlessly taking basic pieces and transforming them into sleek, sexy get-ups.

Making uncomplicated costumes irresistible was something Taylor continued to do throughout her reign over the silver screen. From the mid 1940s throughout the 1960’s, her fierce beauty commanded unprecedented attention.

In George Steven’s rustic Western A Place in the Sun, Taylor captivated viewers in a classic pure white, 50s inspired debutante dress. The frock, designed by Edith Head, highlighted Taylor’s unbelievably tiny waist—it was nearly unbelievable how such a simple piece of clothing began to shape her fashion reputation.

Elizabeth Taylor in the film A Place In The Sun

White continued to give Taylor a fashion-edge, when she was adorned in a Grecian-goddess inspired dress in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The Helen Rose-made frock, with its cinched waist, paired perfectly with her short, dark hair—showing of her very feminine figure.

With Elizabeth Taylor, , it wasn’t just her leading lady characters that were surrounded by glitz and glamour—her off-screen, infamous love for jewelry—white diamonds and shiny green emeralds especially, aided added to her movie star persona.

Taylor’s utter adoration for sparkly jewels was enhanced by her twice husband, Richard Burton—the two married for the first time in 1965 and a gain ten years later in 1975. Burton doted on Taylor with jewels of all shapes and sizes, including the 33.19-carat Krupp Diamond, which she had set into a ring, and the 69.42-carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond, which was used as the centerpiece for the most precious neck candy seen at the time

Elizabeth Taylor with Richard Burton

Burton doted on Taylor with jewels of all shapes and sizes, including the 33.19-carat Krupp Diamond, which she had set into a ring, and the 69.42-carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond, which was used as the centerpiece for the most precious neck candy seen at the time.

Whether she saw herself as an icon, an inspiration or a role model—one thing is for certain—Elizabeth Taylor made a difference. Not only was she the first woman to ink a $1 million deal in Hollywood—causing quite a stir with another competing starlet Marilyn Monroe—but Taylor proved to women across the globe that simple, genuine beauty is the most irresistible quality a women could have.

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