Saturday, June 26, 2010

ELIZABETH TAYLOR ALWAYS THE STAR

Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born Hampstead, London. Moving to the US in 1939, she was discovered at an early age and signed her first film contract with Universal Pictures in 1941.

Moving to MGM in 1942, she appeared in “Lassie Come Home”. Loaned to Fox studios, Taylor also appeared in “Jane Eyre” in 1944.

For MGM however, Taylor has been involved in some of the most memorable productions the studio has ever produced including “National Velvet”, “Father of the Bride”, “Raintree County”, “Little Women” and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”.

This elegant suit was worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the sequel to “Father of the Bride” being “Father's Little Dividend” in 1951. The film starred Spencer Tracy.



The Yellow two piece suit is decorated with lace trim to the collar and bodice. The costume was designed by Helen Rose.





The gown appears in the Christening scenes in the film.





This second gown was worn by Elizabeth Taylor in 1954 for the film “Beau Brummell” . This period film tells the story of Beau Brummell, played by Stewart Granger who trades a military career for looking good after he insults the Crown Prince. Peter Ustinov plays The Prince of Wales in the film. Taylor portrayed the character of Lady Patricia. Costumes were designed by Elizabeth Haffenden.





This pale blue silk period gown was worn by Elizabeth Taylor with a gauze overlay, fitted bodice with back eyelet closure and a sash, ruffled short sleeves, and a full skirt embroidered with delicate silver bullion and rhinestones. There is a handwritten Western Costume Co label inscribed E. Taylor and a handwritten B.J. Simmons & Co. label inscribed Miss E. Taylor.





The gown is seen in key sequences in the film.











Taylor can also be seen here in costume between takes. With her is her co-star Stewart Granger and husband Michael Wilding.



Here is Taylor emerging from her dressing room in costume, with tea!




Taylor appeared in Giant in 1956. Following which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in the film ‘Raintree County’ in 1957 opposite Montgomery Clift. An attempt by MGM to make a sequel to “Gone With The Wind”, this American Civil War epic tells the story of love between characters played by Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint and Clift then entering into a passionate, yet loveless, marriage with a woman named Susanna Drake played by Elizabeth Taylor. It is later discovered that Taylor character’s mother died in an asylum and it becomes apparent that Susanna has inherited her family's illness. The film is set against the backdrop of the civil war.

Here is a full-length gown designed by Walter Plunkett and worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the film. The bodice of mauve taffeta with full sleeves of layers of tulle embroidered with mauve flower heads, the full-length skirt of ivory cotton embroidered all over with mauve flower heads, with corresponding layered underskirt; and a parasol -- made for Elizabeth Taylor as Susanna Drake in the 1957 M.G.M. film Raintree County.





Also in the photo is the original corresponding costume design by Walter Plunkett, graphite and watercolour on card, signed by Walter Plunkett, the reverse with production ink-stamps and production details inscribed in pencil.







The costume appeared on a location shoot for the film at the famous Windsor ruins in Mississippi.

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