August 22 2014

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25 posts tagged "Elizabeth Taylor"

Elizabeth Taylor: The Collector


“I wanted to share my collection with others so they could get a glimpse of the joys, the thrills, and the pure happiness that these beautiful creations have given me,” Elizabeth Taylor once said. It’s a line that now covers one of the purple walls at Christie’s New York, where the Hollywood legend’s jewels, clothes, handbags, and artwork have arrived after a two-month-long world tour. There’s the expected bling and baubles, most notably the Cartier Taj Mahal diamond (bidding to begin at $300,000), the 33.19-carat diamond ring Richard Burton bought her in 1968 (they were married—for the first time—in 1964), and the ruby necklace, bracelet, and earring set given to her by Mike Todd that she famously wore for laps in the pool.

But the famous jewels are only part of the story. “No one knew she had this enormous collection of clothing,” said Meredith Etherington-Smith, Christie’s curator for the Taylor fashion auction, during a private preview and luncheon of the exhibition this afternoon, co-hosted by Christie’s chairman Marc Porter and Orianne Collins. “We knew she would run around in caftans—we didn’t know Ms. Taylor was buying serious fashion for over 50 years. And when I say serious, I mean couture.”

Of course, there’s a chorus line of Taylor’s infamous Thea Porter caftans on display, but other highlights in the multi-floor exhibition are the evening bolero jackets by Gianni Versace (“some of the best things Versace ever did,” according to Etherington-Smith), Taylor’s Louis Vuitton luggage collection with lavender name tags (they read MINE), her red velvet Valentino evening gown (they were great friends), and her incredible collection of Dior evening dresses. “There’s the last Dior dress with red bugle beads that was designed for Taylor by John Galliano in 2010, and it comes with a wonderful letter explaining that no, it won’t be transparent when you wear it,” said Etherington-Smith. “At that point, she was confined to a wheelchair but she could still order up a mean Dior.”

Taylor, say the Christie’s team, was a collector and curator as much as a fashion plate. “This is about connoisseurship and collecting, not consumption,” Porter told “To learn that she was one of the most refined collectors of our time was an absolute revelation.”

The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor exhibition runs December 3-12, Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC, $30 admission. Online auction runs December 3-16.

Photos: Ryan McCune /

Olympia Le-Tan To Show At Pitti W, Unis Heads West, Bid On Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewels Online, And More…


Olympia Le-Tan will be a guest designer for Pitti W’s next ready-to-wear and accessories trade fair in Florence. On January 12, Le-Tan will debut a collection of bags “inspired by a number of Italian literature masterpieces—a longtime passion of hers.” [WWD]

The John Galliano label has launched an e-commerce shop []. Offerings on the site include John Galliano’s final collection he made before his departure from the company. [Vogue U.K.]

The menswear line Unis is opening its first shop in Los Angeles on Friday. Designed by Eunice Lee, the line of basics has developed a strong New York following. Of her first L.A. venture, Lee says, “I’m hoping to just slide right in and offer guys here something a bit more sophisticated.” [T]

Not only will Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels and clothes be on auction at the Christie’s sale in December, but there will also be an online auction December 3-17 at Shoppers can get a sneak preview of the collection starting November 18 on Moda Operandi. [Hint]

Photo: Cedric Bihr

Exclusive: Liz Taylor Collection Debuts In L.A.


“We really didn’t have to second-guess where to start the American tour, it had to be Los Angeles,” Brett Sherlock of Christie’s tells, referring to the tightly edited collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, couture, and select movie memorabilia that makes its U.S. debut at L.A.’s MOCA on Thursday. After basking in its rightful Hollywood glory, the Christie’s exhibition will continue a two-month-long world tour ending at Christie’s New York with a two-week-long auction.

Dubbed as the greatest jewelry collection that the auction house has ever had the honor of presenting, the public display provides a very exacting window into the private life of the Hollywood icon. Set against the somewhat stark contemporary space, the lots are displayed in their simplest form, viewable from all angles though Plexiglas: Two of Taylor’s Academy Awards are on display, as are her framed Warhol print, Dior full-length evening gowns, her namesake 33-carat diamond ring (estimated to rake in $3.5 million when it goes on the chopping block in December), an inscribed flat diamond, and countless others.

“This is the highest-profile auction we do,” Sherlock said. “We’ve given over our entire Rockefeller Center headquarters for this 2,000-item event.” Excitement over the tour and auction is already causing sellout crowds and forcing organizers to extend hours to meet the demand. No surprise there—Liz always knew how to draw a crowd.

Photo: Courtesy of Christie’s

Corinne Day Exhibit Shows Off Unseen Kate Moss Photos, Kate Winslet Saves The Day, The Olsens Have Their Sights On A Store, And More…


The late photographer Corinne Day was the first to shoot a Kate Moss Vogue cover. As a tribute to her life and career, Gimpel Fils gallery is debuting an exhibit of some of her unpublished works in September, alongside the release of Heaven Is Real from Morel Books. [Nowness]

Kate Winslet is being crowned a hero today. The actress, who was staying at Richard Branson’s Carribean house over the weekend, rescued Branson’s 90-year-old mother after lightning struck the mansion and ignited a fire. [Vogue U.K.]

During an interview with the Telegraph, the Olsen twins revealed a store could be next for the ever-expanding empire. “When the time is right, we definitely want some sort of home where we display it the way we want to,” Mary-Kate says. [Telegraph]

Designer Vicky Tiel has written a book about her incredible career. In it, she opens up about living with Elizabeth Taylor as part of her entourage, her old friends like Mick Jagger and Woody Allen, and designing what she claims was the first miniskirt. [WWD]

Photo: Billy Farrell/

Francisco’s Picks: The Calvin Klein Creative Director’s Favorite Photos From Tomorrow’s Photographers For Friends Benefit Auction


Tomorrow night, Friends in Deed, a New York-based crisis center for those dealing with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers, holds its annual benefit auction, Photographers for Friends. Photos by modern masters such as Diane Arbus, Patrick Demarchelier, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Nan Goldin, and Robert Mapplethorpe will go on the block to support the center’s programs.

Among the offerings? A nearly life-sized Gisele, for one. Gilles Bensimon’s 4′ by 5-1/3′ shot of the Brazilian supermodel is one of the favorites of photography collector (and, of course, Calvin Klein Collection creative director) Francisco Costa, who shared his top picks from the offerings exclusively with Classics like Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s Mary Sykes with Postcards, Puerto Rico, 1938 and Arbus’ Transvestite After Her Birthday Party, NYC from 1969, as well as more contemporary prints, like Three Drowning Ladies (below) by David Needleman (a former assistant of Steven Meisel’s), which Costa calls “brilliant,” and Gary Schneider’s Carly’s Legs from 2006 (“this one is really great,” bottom) also impressed the designer. And the late, great Elizabeth Taylor—in a shot from the set of Suddenly Last Summer in 1959 (below)—caught Costa’s eye, too.

And about Gisele, what is there to say that hasn’t been said already? Costa summed it up nicely: “Amazing.” Continue Reading “Francisco’s Picks: The Calvin Klein Creative Director’s Favorite Photos From Tomorrow’s Photographers For Friends Benefit Auction” »