The dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor when she won her first Academy Award in 1961 was found in a suitcase.
Designed by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, the dress, discovered in a plastic suitcase in central London, was worn by Taylor when she was accompanied by her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, to the Oscar ceremony.
The dress was considered a “lucky charm” for Taylor after she wore the dress to the 1961 ceremony, where she won her first Best Actress Oscar after being nominated for a fourth year in a row for her performance in BUtterfield 8. Taylor had reportedly not expected to win the Oscar because of the accusation going around Hollywood that she had stolen Fisher from his prior wife, Debbie Reynolds.
Kerry Taylor Auctions is auctioning off the dress. They released the following information:
“Elizabeth Taylor’s Christian Dior couture Soirée à Rio ‘Oscar’ dress, Spring-Summer 1961, by Marc Bohan, ‘Slim Line’ collection, labelled and numbered 108347, the pale yellow chiffon bodice overlaid over chartreuse organza under- bodice, with boned white tulle inner corset attached to ivory silk waist slip, the ivory silk faille bubble skirt embroidered in shades of green silk with scattered blossoms and insects, with fiver layers of stiffened tulle petticoats, the waistbelt of moss-green taffeta over suede applied with a large crimson silk bloom, bust 89cm, 35in, waist 61cm, 24in
The Sanz Collection.
“The collection of clothes included in this auction are inextricably linked with former employee and close family friends Gaston and Elizabeth Sanz. Mr Gaston Sanz had worked for Elizabeth Taylor since the 1950s and was one of her most trusted and longest serving employees. Taylor had been introduced to Gaston in Paris where he was working at the time for the Rothschild family as a chauffeur. He could speak five languages, had trained as a Cordon Bleu chef but more importantly had been Judo and
“Karate champion of France for five consecutive years. He became Elizabeth Taylor’s bodyguard/chauffeur and worked for her for around 20 years. When Gaston married British-born Anne in 1968, Taylor gave her the white matelassé cocktail dress with matching bolero to wear as her bridal gown (lot 375). From then on Anne also became an integral part of the Taylor-Burton household.
“Although Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton owned a house in London, they preferred to stay in a rooftop suite at the Dorchester Hotel. Anne recalls that the couple often visited the United Kingdom either to film at Pinewood or Elstree or to visit Burton’s extensive Welsh family. On one occasion, because Elizabeth wanted her dogs to accompany them and quarantine regulations forbade them from setting foot on United Kingdom soil, they sailed their private yacht the ‘Kalizma’ from Europe and moored it at Tower Bridge as a sort of floating kennel!
“Gaston and Anne accompanied them wherever the couple and their children travelled – and they were constantly on the move. They might stay in Belair, Beverley Hills for just a few months, then travel to their villa in Mexico, or sail away on their beautiful yacht ‘Kalizma’, which could be moored in Monaco or Spain, or wherever they happened to fancy. Travel for the couple and their staff was unrelenting, with punishing international film timetables/locations, for one or other of the actors.
“Anne recalls the Burtons liked to relax in Switzerland and owned several chalets in Gstaad. One of them was filled with rail upon rail of Taylor’s clothes, another being devoted entirely to storing her furs.
“Anne Sanz remembers the day Taylor beckoned her into the suite at the Dorchester Hotel, in 1971. The star, by now seemingly tired of continuously moving her extensive wardrobe on their global travels (it consisted of around 40 massive suitcases by this point) asked Anne to take her pick of her wardrobe – anything she liked.
“Anne explained that Taylor had regarded the 1961 Oscar dress as something of a lucky charm and although it was worn for just the Academy Award ceremony, that she liked to it to accompany her on her travels. However, finally a decade on – the star finally decided to lighten her load and part with it. Anne filled two massive suitcases with assorted gowns and was also gifted a vintage crocodile dressing case with Victorian silver fittings. The collection features Christian Dior haute couture by Bohan and Tiziani haute couture by Lagerfeld, as well as a ‘black widow’ robe Taylor wore in the 1967 film ‘Boom’ also designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
“The Burtons married in 1964, divorced in 1973 and then remarried in Botswana in 1975, but the rapprochement was short-lived and they divorced for the last time in August 1976. With this final separation Gaston was approached by Taylor and Burton both independently requesting he work for them. For Gaston it was an impossible choice as he was fond of them both. The Sanz family decided it would be best to leave and return to London as their little girl was ready to start school.
Anne Sanz wore just a few of Taylor’s more simple shift dresses. As a busy young mother (the Burtons were joint godparents to their little girl Elizabeth born in 1970) she had few occasions to wear them. Over the years Anne gifted pieces to family and friends but luckily held on to the Oscar dress! £40,000-60,00”
A “lucky charm” Christian Dior dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the night she won best actress at the 1961 Oscars is to be sold at an auction next month after being stored in a suitcase for over 50 years. https://t.co/QAzxSGVLWq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 26, 2022
— Page Six (@PageSix) November 25, 2022
A “lucky charm” Christian Dior dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the night she won best actress at the 1961 Oscars is to be sold at auction next month, after being stored in a suitcase in London for over 50 years. | @AFP https://t.co/QtbMXPIE5I
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) November 26, 2022
Elizabeth Taylor’s lucky dress found in a suitcase https://t.co/sAx1oNjguU
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 26, 2022
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