It is hard to imagine Elizabeth Taylor as anything other than glamorous and living life to the full.
Her outstanding beauty and her acting ability made her a true Hollywood star. Her contribution to fashion and celebrity were two fold. I'm sharing two extracts from my writing on Elizabeth Taylor.
The first is about Elizabeth's wearing of a garment designed by Edith Head:
'The new market of the teenager was deemed a 1950s revolution and Edith Head had her first success with the sweetheart dress designed for Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun (1951). The real significance in terms of the costuming for the film is the dress Taylor wore in the pool room scene - a strapless boned bodice top with an enormous white tulle skirt over pale green satin and white violets covering the bust. Edith Head won the Oscar for best costume in the black and white film category and the dress captured the public imagination so much so that every prom had many an Elizabeth Taylor. In fact one could argue that this dress and Elizabeth Taylor has defined the look for proms and brides ever since 1951.'
The second is about how Taylor and Burton defined modern day celebrity:
'Ellis Cashmore would argue that with regard to celebrity and modern culture the earthquake that propelled the cult of celebrity into a new phase was an Italian photographer, Marcello Geppetti and his experimentation with a ‘new piece of technology: the zoom lens...an image of Taylor and Burton...Not just any old image either. Taylor lay on the deck of the yacht...Burton was craned across her body in an embrace that was unmistakably that of lovers’. (Cashmore 2006:19)
In 1962, the scandal of two married person with children, elicited outrage across the world and in particular from the Vatican. It was not so much the detail of the Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton affair, rather the loss of control by the Hollywood publicity machine, suddenly the demarcations between public and private life were gone.'
All that ground breaking stuff and her breath taking beauty means the death of Elizabeth Taylor is a big event and a very sad one too.