Advertisement
 
(Page 2 of 2)

As a fashion icon, Elizabeth Taylor could turn simple into sexy, elegance into excess

One of Elizabeth Taylor's most potent on-screen powers was her ability to make uncomplicated clothes seem magnificent. In contrast, the star's off-screen tastes ran to excess, particularly when it came to jewelry. 'Enough is never enough,' Taylor said in describing her personal style.

March 23, 2011|By Emili Vesilind | Special to the Los Angeles Times

Taylor was also fond of her Irene Sharaff-designed costumes she wore as the hard-edged Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "They were so essential to the character – such sloppiness," she explained. ("Ms. Sharaff padded her for that role," noted Landis. "She could not make her ugly enough. It was very difficult. You couldn't play Liz's beauty down."

"She had such an organically strong look that she always came through the costumes," said Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero. "It's like with Marilyn Monroe -- they both naturally had such a strong look. The makeup and hair and body shape made costume designers work in a certain direction."

It's true that Taylor's face, a heart-shaped feat of genetic engineering, was forever stealing scenes. But a big part of her beauty was her reluctance to deem it significant.

"I never believed I was a great beauty," she said. "Lena Horne is. Ava Gardner was. My daughters Liza and Maria are. I'll be 78 in February and all I see when I look in the mirror is a face that needs to be washed. My personal philosophy of beauty is to always believe something wonderful is about to happen."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|