WHO POPULARISED THE MODERN KAFTAN?
With so many designers claiming they invented this modern resort wear aesthetic, we take a look at one of the worlds most loved style icons and how she brought traditional Indian and Middle Eastern fashion to the masses… with a bit a hollywood flair!
Elizabeth Taylor… We Salute You!
With over 60 years in the business it’s a no brainer that this week’s swank Store spotlight is on Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth Rosemand Taylor was born in England in 1932, prior to the beginning of World War Two her family relocated to LA, where at age 9 Elizabeth was discovered.
She continued to act throughout her life and after starring in such films as Cat on a tin roof and Cleopatra, she made over 50 films, won two Oscars and well and truly secured her spot as Hollywood royalty. Her fashion also changed over the years (as did her husbands) and she was well known for her bold, expensive jewellery choices. She was married 8 times to 7 different men and at the time of her death had 39 grandchildren, what a woman!
As well as the movies, husbands and diamonds she was also very well known for her sense of style. It was once said that Elizabeth could turn simple into sexy and elegance to excess and I couldn’t agree with them more.
In the 50s her style was more classic, she wore lots of simple yet beautiful dresses, she chose plunging necklines but was some how still managed to pull off a modest look. She loved bright colours and you would often see her red carpet looks adorned with feathers, beading or sequins.
When once asked about her jewellery collection Elizabrth Taylor said "I believe that I am their custodian, here to enjoy them, to give them the best treatment in the world, to watch after their safety, and to love them." Even since her death in 2011 at age 79 Elizabeth Taylors fashion choices remained the forefront of style news, she was the inspiration behind Carine Roitfields 72-page editorial for V magazine which stared Lara Stone, Kate Winslet and Stephanie Seymore to name a few.
She wore fur, adorned her arms and neck in jewels and was never one to shy away from the camera
I feel like as she got older the bolder her fashion choices became, as did her choice of makeup. Not one to shy away from a smokey eye, no one wore eyeliner better than her. Elizabeth’s makeup choices were bold yet feminine, she owned the glamorous lounge wear look and was continually photographed in Palazzo pants and jewelled Kaftans. In Butterfield 8 where she went on to win an academy award there is an iconic scene where she is standing in a door way, champagne in hand, hip pushed out sexily and dressed in nothing more than a lace slip – that for me is one of her most beautiful moments on screen.
We are forever in debt to Taylor for opening our eyes to what Hollywood glamour really could be, I have no doubt many fashion designers to this day use her fashion forward aesthetics to create their own fashion lines. She oozed confidence and sex appeal and everything she wore was for a purpose or result. She wasn’t afraid to take risks in the fashion department and while looking through her photos I realise that most of her looks though bold were also quite comfortable. I mean when you are wearing diamond earnings that are worth more than m apartment why shouldn’t you throw on a pair of flats with your bejewelled Kaftan…
Elizabeth Taylor – we salute you…