Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor / Style Icon

Not many women can burn through five dozen film roles, two Oscar wins, three more nominations, seven husbands, six marriages, and four kids while still finding the time to look stunning - but actress Elizabeth Taylor made it work, albeit with a few bumps along the way.

At the age of twelve Liz dazzled the world in her debut film “National Velvet” and mesmerized all with her astounding beauty and the most famous eyes of the twentieth century. Then there was her fashion sense --particularly through the 1950’s 1960’s, and 1970’s-- that for better or worse was more than memorable. In the 50s she was voted the Most Beautiful Woman in the World and she holds the record for the most appearances on the cover of Life magazine: eleven in all. It was then that she set the template for her Hollywood-on-steroids look. Her wardrobe was filled with lavish fur coats and jewels so over the top that they looked like paste. Her fur collection gave her a larger than life appearance that Lady Gaga should be envious of.

In 1963, her makeup for the filming epic Cleopatra cemented the look of Taylor’s flashing sapphire eyes, rimmed in kohl and framed by strong, immaculately arched natural brows. She carried it over into her off-set styling and popularized the look. And when Taylor grew out her signature short midge haircut of the 1950s into a 1960s bouffant, so did women everywhere. In the ‘70s, she made turbans, big sunglasses and pantsuits look chic. In the ‘80s, she rocked big hair and big shoulder pads. Elizabeth Taylor was the definition of glamor and style.

Her Jewelry collection was legendary; the Grand Duchess of Russia’s Emeralds, 69-carat Burton-Taylor diamond, a 33-carat Krupp diamond ring, the La Peregrina Pearls, Taj Mahal heart-shaped yellow diamond necklace and assortment of sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, each a lover’s gift larger than the last. As businesswomen, her signature fragrance white diamonds launched in 1991 is said to be one of the most celebrity fragrances of all time. 

Elizabeth Taylor was a ultimate movie star, a fashion icon, and a tireless activist and fund raiser for AIDS research. The term style icon has become so devalued in recent years to have become almost meaningless, but Liz Taylor was one of the very few women who can lay claim to having a truly iconic look, unapologetic-ally glamorous, a Hollywood star to the core. She was the image and voice for American Beauty Culture throughout her life.