Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was a noted fashion icon, film star, and humanitarian known for her beauty, allure, and brilliant violet eyes. She rose to become one of Hollywood’s great screen goddesses from her early days as a child star with MGM.
Taylor is one of the most enduring fashion icons in Hollywood. Her predilection for piles of jewels and diaphanous gowns is just as much a part of her history as her acting skills, which earned her some of the industry’s highest accolades.
As the world grieves for the death of Elizabeth Taylor, who died on March 23, 2011, at 79, we look back at her enduring style.
Window Shopping Attire
Taylor was 17 years old when she was caught window shopping in London in 1948. She donned a trendy beret, a bucket bag, and a soft peacoat. She had already established herself as a Hollywood star and was on her way to becoming a fashion icon.
Unlike many other child actors, Taylor was able to make the leap from her early films to more mature roles. Her performance as society girl Angela Vickers in A Place in the Sun in 1951 earned her critical acclaim.
Outfits Deserving of an Oscar
Taylor attended the Academy Awards with her husband, Michael Wilding, in 1953. She donned a sweetheart neckline dress with tiered ruffles and a flowery embroidered corset that could be taken off. Then she completed her ensemble with a white fur stole.
Taylor’s love life was the topic of tabloids, but her acting career was picking up steam. In 1954, she starred in Rhapsody, a romance picture, and Elephant Walk, a drama. In 1956, she gained critical acclaim for her leading role in Giant.
Chic Airport Outfits
During a break for interviews at Jersey airport in 1957 en route to Nice, France, Taylor smoked a cigarette and drank. A beautiful turban cap, a black traveling dress, and a poodle for good measure rounded out her classy ensemble.
Taylor featured in Raintree County, a Civil War film directed by Edward Dmytryk, during this time. Despite the film’s defeat at the box office, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal.
Taylor and Fisher spent their honeymoon in 1959 sailing around Europe on a yacht. After arriving aboard their yacht from Cannes, France, the pair was spotted near an Italian Riviera resort in a fishermen’s town. Taylor wore a boxy shirt and linen slacks with a white silk belt and a boater hat fastened with a scarf.
Fisher was four years Taylor’s senior and had far more experience. The public called Taylor a “homewrecker” since he was still married to Debbie Reynolds when he and Taylor began their affair.
Private Jet Outfits
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Taylor and Fisher and her two children from her former marriage to Wilding formed a happy and elegant little family in 1959. Taylor was wearing an outfit inspired by Dior’s New Look as they exited their jet at London Airport. She likewise kept her sleek raven locks in place with a modest headscarf.
Fisher is dressed to the nines in an all-white outfit, while her two sons, Michael and Christopher, are dressed in similar uniforms and hats.
Prim Gingham Dresses
Taylor wore a demure black and white checked suit with a white wide-brimmed hat and gloves when she stepped out with her husband Fisher in 1960.
She received her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her work as a call lady in Butterfield 8 the same year. Despite Taylor’s disdain for the part, the film was a commercial triumph, generating more than $6.8 million in the United States, making it MGM’s biggest hit of the year.
Taylor’s Parisian Wardrobe
Taylor was discovered in a car in Paris in 1960, dressed as a fashionable French woman. She completed the appearance with a modest skirt suit and a wide-brimmed hat.
Academy Award Gowns
Taylor won the best actress for her role in Butterfield 8 at the Academy Awards in 1961, wearing Christian Dior. Taylor also wore her engagement ring from her dead husband, Todd, as she re-wore her Oscars costume for a photoshoot with Life Magazine to remember her win.
At Lunch With Movie Stars
Taylor was seen leaving Tre Scalini, a restaurant in Rome’s Piazza Navona, with her film co-star Burton in 1962, two years before they married. She was dressed in a short dress with thin shoulder straps, a tight bodice, and a large-brimmed hat that matched her outfit.
Taylor and her then-husband Mike Todd were photographed walking off an ocean ship following a tour around the world in 1957. Taylor was seen holding hands while wearing a two-piece pink silk maternity dress and a gorgeous flowery cap amid a “glamorous pregnancy.”
Taylor became the focus of international tabloid headlines after Todd’s death in 1958, with many people shocked that she would seek solace in the arms of a married man, singer Eddie Fisher.
Bold Floral Hats
Taylor and her co-star, Burton, walked down a London street in 1963. A year later, the two would marry. Taylor donned a feminine peacoat with a large floral arrangement on her day hat.
Taylor and Burton arrived at the Sistina Theater in Rome for an awards presentation in 1966. Taylor was a big fan of turbans at the time, and she wore a beaded one to match with her elaborately embroidered gown.
Cruise Ship Attire
Taylor is photographed with her children aboard the Michelangelo ship en route to New York in 1965, at a stop in Cannes, France. Taylor wore a ladylike skirt suit with a bow on top and a boater hat.
Looks From the 1960s
Taylor sported a mod-inspired ensemble while out and about in London in 1969. Her outfit consisted of a tiny scooter dress, a white coat, and a white baguette bag. Her teased hair was pushed back with a blue headband for added volume.
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Taylor donned a Bulgari hat to a masked gala at the Ca’ Rezzonico Palace in Venice in 1967. The actress was accessorized with a Bulgari necklace, a Karl Lagerfeld beaded caftan, and the legendary headdress that would go down in fashion history.
Alexandre of Paris, a hairstylist, created the piece for Taylor to wear in her film Boom!, which she was shooting in Sardinia at the time.
Crocheted Outfits From the 1970s
Taylor immersed herself headfirst into 1970s styles. In 1970, she was photographed with her husband Burton, wearing a crocheted shawl and wide-leg slacks.
Taylor was photographed with a scalloped blouse, an outstanding bouffant, booty-skimming hot trousers, and knee-high go-go boots outside of London’s Dorchester Hotel in 1971.
Ball Gowns From the 1980s
Taylor dressed up as a Dynasty character at a ball in New York City in 1987. Her gown had princess-like poufs on the shoulders, a ruched waist, a plunging neckline, and stunning beading.
Little Bo Peep Gowns
Taylor wore a Little Bo Peep-inspired gown at a benefit at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 1992 with her husband, Larry Fortensky.
Taylor wore an amazingly colored dress to a ball with her husband in 1999. The gown had a joyful canary yellow skirt, a blue embroidered bust, princess sleeves that dragged to the floor and converted into a fringe, and a blue embroidered bust.
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