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Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘lucky charm’ 1961 Oscars dress found in suitcase in London

The dress has been found in good condition and was tucked away in a suitcase owned by former employees and close friends Gaston and Anne Sanz

She wore this dress to 1961 Oscars (Source: Kerry Taylor Auctions)

A one-of-a-kind dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor on the night she won her first Oscars Award in 1961, which hadn’t been since seen in public, has finally been found. The Christian Dior gown, designed by Marc Bohan, has been discovered in a large plastic suitcase – along with 11 other garments belonging to Taylor – in Central London, over 60 years after the actor won the Best Actress award for Butterfield 8 wearing it.

According to Kerry Taylor Auctions, the auction house handling the sale of the Dior dress and other pieces of Taylor, the dress has been found in good condition and was tucked away in a suitcase owned by former employees and close friends Gaston and Anne Sanz.

Anne told the auction house 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, she liked it to accompany her on her travels. However, Taylor was, eventually, tired of continuously moving her extensive wardrobe on her global travels and asked Anne to take her pick of her wardrobe in 1971.

The dress is found after over 60 years (Source: Kerry Taylor Auctions)

“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,” Kerry Taylor Auctions noted.

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The dress features a pale yellow chiffon bodice overlaid over chartreuse organza under-bodice, with a boned white tulle inner corset attached to an ivory silk waist slip, the ivory silk faille bubble skirt embroidered in shades of green silk with scattered blossoms and insects, with five layers of stiffened tulle petticoats, the waistbelt of moss-green taffeta over suede applied with a large crimson silk bloom.

She had paired this dress with long evening gloves, and diamond and pearl droplet earrings. Taylor’s acceptance speech while donning this stunning gown is “one of the most memorable and heartfelt” moments in the Academy Awards history. “I don’t really know how to express my gratitude for this after everything. I guess all I can do is say thank you. Thank you with all my heart,” she said breathlessly.

The dress and other valuable items from the actor’s collection will be up for auction on December 6. It is expected to fetch £40,000 – £60,000, according to the auction house.


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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 09:10 IST
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