Elizabeth Taylor’s Haute Couture Treasures

A signed lithograph by Andy Warhol, dated 1964; realized price: $662,500

Elizabeth Taylor may have been more celebrated for her jewels than her clothing, but public enthusiasm for the latter sartorial slice of the late actress’ estate set records at auction at Christie’s New York this week, bringing in a grand total of USD $2,600,750.  The eclectic range of haute couture spanned the 60s – 90s and featured mostly evening wear by designers like Christian Dior, Valentino, Givenchy, and Versace, the last of which attracted a cool $128,500 for a beaded ‘The Face’ jacket from the early 90s (see below), $108,500 more than the maximum estimated price: no surprise given the garment’s historical iconography, which features beaded images of Elizabeth in her most famous roles throughout the 20th century (including Cleopatra.)  In an auction that defied expectation, it was a Christian Dior brocade evening gown and matching clutch from the designer’s S/S 1968 collection that fetched the highest bid for a garment, bringing in a staggering $362,500, or 60 times the high estimated bid of $6,000.  Below, a selection of top bid winners and iconic pieces from the actress’ impressive wardrobe.

Christian Dior Ivory Wool Jersey tunic dress (1968) & Ivory Organdy Evening Jacket (1961); realized price: $68,500

Christian Dior Buttercup Yellow Tunic Dress, S/S 1968; realized price: $30,000

Halston silk jersey Dress & Turban, circa 1982; realized price: $16,250

Christian Dior White Organza Evening Gown, S/S 1987; realized price: $15,000

Givenchy Jumpsuit & Bolero Jacket, circa 1980S; realized price: $3,250

Paco Rabanne (?) Link Dress, circa late 1970s; realized price: $13,750

Atelier Versace Beaded Evening Jacket, circa 1992; realized price: $128,500

Versace Evening Coat & Fendi Baguette bag, circa 1990s; realized price: $8,750

Christian Dior Brocade Evening Gown & Matching Evening Bag, S/S 1968; realized price: $362,500

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