Iconic Wedding Dresses : Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor is an iconic actress of the 1950’s and 1960’s, starring in a multiplicity of critically acclaimed films. She is also very well known as a style icon.
Taylor’s private life also received scrutiny from the public, this isn’t surprising as she married eight times. She wore many wedding gowns that could go down as iconic; therefore, we shall explore each and every one.
Elizabeth Taylor’s first marriage
Elizabeth’s first marriage was to Conrad Hilton, a famous hotelier who was the founder of the renowned Hilton hotels. The couple were married on the 6th of May, 1950 in Beverly Hills, California. Elizabeth wore a dress by Helen Rose, the same MGM film company designer that would create Grace Kelly’s iconic gown just a few years later.
It did not go unnoticed that her wedding gown bore a striking resemblance to the gown Helen Rose created for her in the classic film ‘Father of the Bride’, which had been released earlier the same year and sky-rocketed Liz to fame.
Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding dress
Her white satin dress was accented with seed pearls and beading, and featured a sweetheart neckline that was covered with a beautiful chiffon overlay. The dress is said to have taken Helen Rose and her team around two months to create.
Elizabeth also wore a three-quarter-length full veil attached with a small pearl tiara, which again is noticeably similar to the dress Rose created for ‘Father of the Bride’. Although this is hardly surprising; if asked to design two wedding dresses for the same bride in less than a year there are sure to be some similarities!
Below image top-right – The dress Elizabeth wore for ‘The Father of the Bride’; all the other images are of her own wedding dress
Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s first marriage only lasted around eight months; she later reported that this was due to Conrad’s heavy drinking and gambling habits.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Second Marriage, 1952: Michael Wilding
Elizabeth’s second marriage was a second for both her and her new husband, actor Wilding (who was 20 years her senior). Elizabeth wore a modest tea-length three-quarter-sleeve suit, also created by film costume designer Helen Rose, and wore an assortment of beautiful flowers in her hair.
Elizabeth Taylor’s third marriage, 1957: Michael Todd
Obviously not yet bored of saying ‘I do’, Elizabeth and American film producer Michael Todd were actually married in two separate ceremonies; an all-Spanish civil ceremony to which she wore a petite off-the-shoulder gown, and a second Mexican wedding where she wore a tight-fitting V-neck.
Todd tragically died in a plane crash in 1958, (a heavy cold had prevented Elizabeth from flying), and Liz famously ran straight into the arms of Todd’s best man Eddie Fisher for comfort
Elizabeth Taylor’s fourth marriage 1959: Eddie Fisher
Although still married when comforting Elizabeth after the sudden loss of her husband Todd, Eddie went on to leave his wife for Liz, and the couple were married in 1959 at the Temple Beth Shalon in Las Vegas.
Elizabeth famously wore this emerald green silk dress, featuring a captivating loose hood, sheer sleeves and a tucked-in waist.
Elizabeth’s emerald green gown complimented her complexion perfectly. The gown came complete with matching shoes and a beautiful bouquet created from orchids and gypsophila.
Elizabeth Taylor Fifth Marriage, 1964: Richard Burton
After meeting on the set of the 1963 Hollywood hit ‘Cleopatra’, (and just 9 days after divorcing Eddie Fisher), Elizabeth married her co-star Richard wearing this Empire-style yellow chiffon gown and an extravagant floral headpiece of lilies and hyacinths. Richard had presented Elizabeth with a dazzling emerald and diamond brooch on the morning of their wedding which she proudly pinned to the collar of her dress.
Elizabeth Taylors Sixth Marriage, 1975: Richard Burton (again)
After just a year and a half apart, Richard and Liz tied the knot once again during a secret reunion in Africa. The couple dressed in summery, casual clothes for the simple ceremony, which took just 20 minutes to complete.
Elizabeth Taylor Seventh Marriage, 1976: John Warner
Liz took her seventh procession up the aisle in 1976 with politician John Warner. She wore a stunning white Grecian gown that elegantly complimented her older years. At this point in her career, Elizabeth concentrated on supporting Warner’s political campaign.
Yet, their marriage broke down due to this. Taylor became overweight, lonely and depressed and struggled with substance abuse. They divorced in 1982.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Eighth Marriage, 1991: Larry Fortensky
Elizabeth was engaged twice before marrying her final husband Larry Fortensky. Unlike her past relationships, Larry wasn’t originally in the public eye.
They were wed in Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch wearing a flamboyant floor-length off-the-shoulder Valentino gown. After seven failed marriages, and reporting “This is it, forever”, the couple sadly divorced five years later and Liz never remarried.
This string of tumultuous relationships will forever go down in history.