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Archive for Monday, April 4, 2011

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Elizabeth Taylor style icon in her own right

April 4, 2011

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When I think of Elizabeth Taylor, the exotic costumes from “Cleopatra” and her sultry, southern lingerie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” immediately come to mind. And accordingly, when I heard the news of her death, I could distinctly picture a ranting Big Daddy, roaring in shock — “I say BULL.”

Elizabeth Taylor? Dead? Bull.

Silhouette:

Although Taylor’s style varied throughout her life, she was often pictured wearing similar, feminine pieces. Early in life, she wore dresses that emphasized both her cleavage and her waistline. V-neck blouses and dresses with plunging necklines were favorites. Later, Taylor wore loose, draped clothing in fine fabrics, like silk and velvet; however, these pieces often still maintained a low-cut or off-the-shoulder neckline.

Jewelry and accessories:

As evidenced by her book, “My Love Affair with Jewelry,” Taylor was typically pictured wearing extravagant jewelry. She often wore oversized, sparkling statement necklaces and matching jewelry sets as well as other luxe, showy accessories, like bright, colorful feather boas and fur wraps. Taylor was not self-conscious regarding her ostentatious style — if you got it, wear it.

Headpieces:

Taylor’s 1964 wedding photo is fabulous. She is wearing a white headpiece, which in itself is inspiring. Think outside of the box. Even at traditional events, an insertion of personal style is possible. Taylor often wore other hair accessories, matching headscarves or headbands. On screen in “Cleopatra,” Taylor’s hair was styled with strands of beads, completing her look.

Beauty:

Similar to her fashion outlook, Taylor’s beauty routine was the opposite of minimalist. Her eyes were thickly outlined in liner, and her lashes were defined with heavy black mascara. Often times, Taylor’s bright lipstick would coordinate with her dress (if it was a warm, feminine color, like pink, red, or coral). Taylor typically wore bright nail polish colors, too. She is most commonly photographed wearing polish in a deep red hue.

Other style statements:

• wear lingerie—either a sexy top with jeans and a blazer, or a long slip-dress that will pass for a dress (see her films “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” or “Butterfield 8” for inspiration)

• wear a sparkly, sequined dress or blouse

• pair a casual, geometric dress with a tribal-inspired necklace

— Caitlin Donnelly can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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