Pronuncitaon parfaite de la mode étiquettes

The ever-stylish Blair Waldorf has NEVER mispronounced a label. Image CW

Have you ever mispronounced a designer label?

It’s an easy thing to do since many design houses have hard-to-pronounce names, but regardless, doing this is a major faux-pas. Doing so means that you’ve EARNED that look below.

Luckily, there are considerate people who’ve spent time and energy compiling a list of the correct pronunciation of many noteworthy designer’s names…. and me, for sharing it 🙂

Here, in alphabetical order, is a list of how to correctly pronounce the hard-to-say design houses.  Enjoy!

• A Détacher: Ah Day-tah-shay
• Abaete: Ah-bye-ah-tay
• Acne: Ahk-nay
• Alber Elbaz: Ahl-bear El-bahz
• Alejandro Ingelmo: Allay-handro In-gel-mo
• Alessandro Dell’Acqua: Ala-sand-roe del-laa-kwa
• Alexandre Vauthier: Ah-lex-ahn-der Voh-tee-ay
• Andrew Gn: Andrew Jen
• Andy Thê-Anh: An-dee Tay-Ann
• Ann Demeulemeester: Ann De-mule-eh-meester
• Anna Sui: Anna Swee
• Anya Hindmarch: Ahn-yuh Hind-marsh
• Aquilano Rimondi: Ah-kwi-lahn-doh Rim-ohn-dee
• Arthur Mendonça: Ar-thur Men-doe-sa
• Azzedine Alaia: Azz-eh-deen Ah-lie-ah
• Badgley Mischka: Badge-lee Meesh-ka
• Balenciaga: Bah-len-see-ah-gah
• Balmain: Bahl-mahhhhn
• Behnaz Sarafpour: Ben-ahz Sar-uh-for
• Bibhu Mohapatra: Bee-booh Mo-ahh-pat-rah
• Bottega Veneta: Bow-teg-a Ven-eta
• Bouchra Jarrar: Boo-shra Jahr-arr
• Bulgari: Ball-gah-ree
• Burberry Prorsum: Burr-behr-ee Prohr-sum
• Cacharel: Cash-er-el
• Carolina Herrera: Caro-leena Hair-era
• Carven: Cahr-vehn
• Cesare Paciotti: Che-sah-ray Pah-cho-tee
• Chaiken: Chay-ken
• Chanel: Shuh-nel
• Christian Lacroix: Christian Luh-kwa
• Christian Louboutin: Christian Loo-boo-tin
• Comme des Garçons: Comb day Gar-son
• Costella Tagliapietra: Coh-stell-oh Tag-lee-ah-pee-ay-troh
• Cushnie et Ochs: Cuh-sh-nee eht Ocks
• Dior Homme: Dee-oar Om
• Dolce & Gabbana: Dol-chey and Gab-ana
• Dries Van Noten: Drees van Know-ten
• DSquared: Dee squared
• Elie Saab: Ee-lee Sahb
• Emanuel Ungaro: Ee-man-you-el Oon-gar-oh
• Erdem Moragliou: Air-dem More-ah-glee-uh
• Ermenegildo Zegna: Er-men-a-geel-do Zen-ya
• Etro: Eht-ro
• Fendi: Fend-ee
• Gareth Pugh: Gareth Pew
• Giambattista Valli: Gee-am-bah-tease-ta Vah-lee
• Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-ahn-fran-co Feh-ray
• Giles Deacon: Jy-els Dee-kin
• Givenchy: Zjee-von-shee
• Gucci: G00-chi
• Guillame Henry: Gee-ohm Ahn-ree
• Guy Laroche: Ghee La-roash
• Hedi Slimane: Ed-ee Slim-ahn
• Hermès: Air-mehz
• Hervé Léger: Air-vay Lay-jah
• Hussein Chalayan: Who-sane Sha-lion
• Issa: Ee-sah
• Issey Miyake: Iss-ee Mee-yah-key
• Jean Paul Gaultier: Sj-awn Paul Goat-ee-ay
• Joeffer Caoc: Joe-fur Kay-ock
• John Varvatos: John var-VAY-toes
• Junya Watanabe: Joon-ya Wah-tah-nah-bay
• Kirna Zabête: Keer-nah Zah-bet
• Kris Van Assche: Chris van-ASH
• Lanvin: Lon-vin
• Loewe: Low-ev-ay
• Louis Vuitton: Loo-wee Vwee-tahn
• Lucien Pellat-Finet: Lu-see-en Peh-lought Fin-ay
• L’Wren Scott: La-ren Scott
• Madame Gres: Madame Gray
• Mainbocher: Maynbo-shay
• Maison Martin Margiela: Maise-on Mar-tin mar-jel-a
• Maiyet: May-et
• Maje: Mahj
• Marchesa: Mar-kay-sa
• Marithe Francois Girbaud: Ma-ree-the Fran-so-ah Jer-bo
• Mary Katrantzou: Mary Cat-trant-zoo
• Missoni: Miss-own-ee
• Miu Miu: mew-mew
• Monique Lhueillier- Monique Loo-lee-ay
• Moschino-Mos-key-no
• Narciso Rodriguez: Nar-siss-so Ro-dree-gez
• Nicolas Ghesquière: Ni-co-la Guess-ki-air
• Olivier Theyskens: Oh-liv-ee-ay Tay-skins
• Pierre Cardin: Pee-air Car-dain
• Proenza Schouler: Pro-en-zuh Skool-er
• Raf Simons: Rauph See-mon
• Ralph Lauren: ralf lor-en
• Rei Kawakubo: Ray Kah-wah-koo-bo
• Rochas: Row-shahs
• Rodarte: Row-dar-tay
• Roksanda Ilincic: Rock-sand-da Ill-in-chik
• Sacai: Suh-kai
• Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal-vah-tor-re Fer-ra-gah-moh
• Schiaparelli: Skyap-uh-rell-ee
• 6267: Six-two-six-seven
• Sonia Rykiel: Sewn-yah Ree-key-el
• Sophia Kokosalaki: So-fee-a Ko-ko-sah-lah-kee
• Swarovski: Swore-off-ski
• Thakoon: Ta-koon
• Thierry Mugler: Tee-air-ree Moog-lay
• Tibi: t-bi
• Tocca: Toe-ka
• TSE: say
• Ulyana Sergeenko: Uhl-yahn-uh S-air-jane-koh
• Veronique Branquinho: Ve-ro-neek Brang-kee-no
• Versace: Ver-saw-chee or Ver-sawch-eh
• Vika Gazinskaya: Vee-kah Gahv-in-skee-yah
• Vionnet: Vee-oh-nay
• Yigal Azrouël: yig-ahl Ahz-roo-el
• Yohji Yamamoto: Yo-jee ya-MAmmoto
• Yves Saint Laurent: Eve Sane-Lor-aunn

Cover Roundup: The Best of the Rest April 2014

Here are the covers from the April 2014 editions of some of the other top fashion magazines worldwide. Some of them are monthly publications, some are quarterlies and some are only released twice a year, but they are all fierce!

V Magazine features actress Amanda Seyfried

Interview Germany features model Adriana Lima

Lone Wolf Magazine’s ninth issue cover features photography by Jette Stolte.

V magazine featuring musicians Haim

Lui France features model Anja Rubik

France’s Purple Magazine S/s 2014 cover featuring actress Stacy Martin

London’s i-D Magazine’s S/s edition features model Daria Werbowy

London’s Dazed and Confused Magazine S/s edition features actress Scarlett Johansson

Numero Magazine features model Ola Rudnicka

France’s L’Officiel Magazine featuring model Sky Ferreria

Singapore’s L’Officiel Magazine featuring model Suki Waterhouse

France’s Crash Magazine 2014 S/s Edition features model Rebecca Hall

Cover Roundup: Elle April 2014

Here are some of the covers of the April editions of Elle Magazine. All images courtesy Elle, a production of Hachette Filipacchi Medias, a division of the Legardere Media Group.

Elle Germany featuring model Daria Werbowy

Elle Mexico features model Sheila Marquez

Elle Japan features singer Lily Allen

Elle Canada features actress Emily VanCamp

Elle South Africa features model Dakota Johnson

Elle Russia featuring model Valentina Zelyaeva

Elle Spain featuring model Mariana Coldebella

Elle Vietnam featuring model Dauphine Mckee

Elle Turkey features actress Tuba Unsal

Elle China features model Natalia Vodianova

Elle Poland featuring model Anja Rubik

Elle UK featuring actress Katie Holmes

Elle US features actress Emma Watson

Elle Netherlands featuring model Robin Holzken

Elle Quebec featuring entertainer Miley Cyrus

Elle Serbia featuring model Marina Krtinic

Elle Thailand featuring actress Zooey Deschanel

Elle Italy features models Joan Smalls and Mikus Lasmanis

Elle Potrugal also features model Shiela Marquez

Elle Croatia featuring model Tabitha Pernar

Elle Korea features actors Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae

Elle Denmark features model Allie Crandell

Elle Czech Republic features model Eva K.

Elle Sweden featuring model Tilda Lindstam

Elle Bulgaria (if anyone knows who the model is please let me know!)

Elle Hungary also features singer Lily Allen

Elle Greece features model Liya Kebede

Elle Finland featuring actress Kate Hudson

Elle France features model Vanessa Paradis

Elle Norway features model Erin Wasson

Elle Slovenia featuring model Petra Butkovic

Elle India features model Ketho Leno Kense

Elle Belgium also features singer Lily Allen

To be released:
Elle Argentina
Elle Indonesia

Cover Roundup: Harper’s Bazaar April 2014

The roundup of some of this month’s issues of Harper’s Bazaar worldwide.  All images courtesy Harper’s Bazaar, a publication of Hearst Media.

Harper’s Bazaar Australia features model Coco Rocha

Harper’s Bazaar Argentina features model Romina Lanaro

Harper’s Bazaar Russia featuring model Nadja Auermann

Harper’s Bazaar UK features actress Sarah Jessica Parker

Harper’s Bazaar Poland features model Magdalena Frackowiak

Harper’s Bazaar Singapore features model Ji Hye Park

Harper’s Bazaar Romania featuring model Julia Shvets

Harper’s Bazaar Mexico featuring model Heidi Mount

Harper’s Bazaar Brazil featuring model Fernanda Lima

Harper’s Bazaar US featuring model Lara Stone

Harper’s Bazaar Korea features actress Jun Ji-Hyun

Harper’s Bazaar China features actress Li Bingbing

Harper’s Bazaar Czech Republic features singer Lady Gaga

Harper’s bazaar Germany features model Hilary Rhoda

Harper’s Bazaar Spain featuring model Zuzanna Bijoch

Harper’s bazaar Bulgaria also features singer Lady Gaga

Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia features model Erin Wasson

Harper’s Bazaar Turkey featuring model Anna Emilia Saari

Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam also features model Coco Rocha

Harper’s Bazaar Ukraine featuring model Eugenia Volodia

To be released:
Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong
Harper’s Bazaar India
Harper’s Bazaar Japan
Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
Harper’s Bazaar Thailand
Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia
Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan

Cover Roundup: Vogue April 2014

Here is a list of some of the covers making the international rounds of Vogue’s April 2014 issue. All images courtesy VOGUE, Vogue is a publication of Conde Nast, a division of Advance Publications.

Vogue Spain features model Behati Prinsloo

Vogue Uk features chef Nigella Lawson

Vogue Germany features model Claudia Schiffer

Vogue Japan featuring model Edie Campbell

Vogue Paris features model-activist Cameron Russell

Vogue Australia features model Abbey Lee Kershaw

Vogue Brazil featuring models Isabeli Fontana, Aline Weber, Ana Beatriz Barrow, Renata Keurten and Rhayene (not pictured but included)

Vogue Mexico and Latin America features model Karolina Kurkova

Vogue Turkey also features model-activist Cameron Russell

Vogue Ukraine features model Sigrid Agren

Vogue Portugal features model Juliana Schurig

Vogue Thailand featuring model Iris Strubegger

Vogue Taiwan features model Shu Qi

Vogue Russia features model Nadja Bender

Vogue China features model Edita Vilkeviciute

Vogue Netherlands features television personality Sylvie Meis

Vogue South Korea features model Suvi Koponen

Vogue Italy features model Issa Lish and entrepreneur Bernd Sassmannhausen

Vogue India featuring actress Shraddha Kapoor

The Fierceness of Calvin Klein Advertisements

Calvin Klein Jeans S/s 2014, featuring models Vanessa Axente and Clark Brockleman, photographed by Mario Sorrenti. Image CALVIN KLEIN JEANS

I love seeing Calvin Klein advertisements when I flip through magazines- they are so much EVERYTHING! Hot, oil-slicked models and celebs in jeans and underwear posing like there’s no tomorrow. Even the fully-clothed campaigns are to die for!

What could be better??


(Top) Andie Macdowell in a 1982 Calvin Klein Jeans commercial. Image CALVIN KLEIN JEANS Compare with:
(Bottom) Kristen Stewart as the face of Chanel “Paris-Dallas” Collection S/S 2014. Image CHANEL

Now what does Kristen Stewart have to do with this post? Strangely enough, she inspired it.

A few days ago I saw one of Kristen Stewart’s new ads as the face of Chanel’s spring “Paris-Dallas” Collection and it reminded me of old Calvin Klein Jeans ads. Now to be honest I’m not a huge fan of Chanel’s new campaign, but you can’t deny that Kristen Stewart is quite a capable model. In addition to being Karl’s new girl, she’s the face of Balenciaga’s “Florabotanica” and “Rosabotanica” scents and she has appeared in couture shoots for many magazines.

But this post isn’t about Kristen Stewart’s modelling skills, nor is it about Chanel’s spring campaign; this is about the impact and complete fierceness of Calvin Klein ads!

Calvin Klein Jeans S/s 2010, featuring models Liu Wen and Constance Jablonski and photographed by Craig McDean. Image CALVIN KLEIN

From the early 1980s Calvin Klein ads and commercials have been heating up television and the pages of our favorite fashion magazines. From the infamous 1980 Brooke Shields CK Jeans commercials to the current S/s 2014 collection (starring models Vanessa Axente and Clark Bockelman), Calvin Klein has constantly toed the limits of sexuality in advertising.

Fashion is not and has never been a world of prudes, but Calvin Klein has always been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of what society and fashion buyers would accept. Nudity, body oil and compromising positions have become staples of their campaigns- causing some of their ads to be banned for being too racy, but catapulting the brand into legendary status for their impact on both Calvin Klein consumers, and modern culture as a whole.

BANNED: Calvin Klein Jeans F/w 2010, featuring Lara Stone, Eric Anderson, Grayson Vaughan and A. J. (not pictured but also in campaign Sid Ellison) photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Image CALVIN KLEIN JEANS

Basically, people love to talk, and Calvin Klein’s ads have ensured that people have been talking about them. The brand has historically been at the forefront of some pretty serious debates with the debut of many of its campaigns. From the controversy of showing semi-nude teenage models (like Kate Moss’ 1990s ads- shot when she was 18) or for being “sexually provocative” and “demeaning to women” (like Lara Stone’s banned 2010 campaign), Calvin Klein ads have struck chords with…. well basically everyone.

Eva Mendes and model Jamie Dornan were the faces of Calvin Klein Jeans S/s 2010 campaign; shot by photographer Stephen Klein. Image CALVIN KLEIN JEANS

Think about this for a second. Whether you are offended or not by what their campaigns present, the brand has publicly opened up conversations on topics that might not have been deemed acceptable by many. Talk changes the world and they have quite literally helped in this change with each season’s shoots and in the widest of scopes. You want to talk about women’s liberation? Think no further than Eva Mendes’ 2010 CK Underwear ads or basically any that Kate Moss has been in.  The building of powerhouse celebrity careers? Look to Mark Wahlberg’s underwear campaign shot in his days of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

See the power of fashion advertising?

Kate Moss, the face of Calvin Klein’s Fragrance “Obsession” in 1993, shot by Mario Sorrenti. Image CALVIN KLEIN

To the fashion world, Calvin Klein ads have been practically heaven-sent for the amount of public interest- and money- that they’ve injected into the industry. Granted that a lot of the fashion industry is buoyed on hype, it runs on money and these campaigns have been very successful; so much so that they were a huge part of bringing the brand back from bankruptcy in the early 1990s, while constantly injecting needed billions in the sector as a whole.  Many top models and actors also owe much to these Calvin Klein campaigns with the publicity that they garner. The careers of many of today’s top models like Kate Moss, Toni Garrn, Natalia Vodianova, Adam Senn and Scott King were established with shots advertising the brand’s products.

Model Natalia Vodianova and football star Fredrik Ljungberg, the 2006 S/s faces of Calvin Klein Underwear. Image CALVIN KLEIN

Now-unforgettable names owe much to this label, and  really, where would the entertainment world be without Antonio Sabato Jr., Mini Arden, Eva Mendez, Andrew Stetson, Zoe Saldana, Doutzen Kroes, Garett Neff, Jerry Hall, Christy Turlington, Alexander Skarsgard, Jamie Dornan, Scarlett Johansson and many more.

The ads bring new customers with each release, bolstering fashion sales while further extending the range of fashion’s infiltration in modern culture.

Model Emily DiDonato for Calvin Klein Jeans S/s 2010, photographed by Sebastien Kim and Fabien Baron. Image CALVIN KLEIN JEANS

Personally, I have always been a fan of the ballsy attitude and perfect photography that’s seen in Calvin Klein campaigns. The pictures are beautiful and memorable, chock-full of gorgeous clothing, people and places, and as for the semi- nudity, well I’ve never seen that as a problem. Like most consumers I have always based my shopping on how good the clothes make me look and I appreciate that Calvin Klein sells their products by insinuating that they’ll make you look and feel so good, you’d instantly be irresistibly sexy to everyone.

Calvin Klein Swimwear S/s 2010, featuring models Edita Vilkeviciute and Vladimir Ivanov, photographed by Sebastian Kim. Image CALVIN KLEIN

Just much too fierce!
I approve

OH LIZ! Part Three

Elizabeth Taylor flaunting a mink coat and the majestic Taylor-Burton Diamond, a gift from Richard Burton for her 40th birthday in 1970.  She originally wore it as a ring but it was so large that she later had Cartier re-set it in a necklace. GETTY images

I’ve been waiting to get to this one- it’s all about the fashion and the JEWELS! Elizabeth Taylor epitomized Hollywood glamour throughout her career. She dressed to suit her famous figure; Elizabeth Taylor was one woman who made curves fashionable.  She had the ability to make everything she wore look good, she could make a bathrobe look like couture and was seductive even while wearing button-down tops and jeans.

Chic in a gingham button-down: Elizabeth Taylor in 1957, photographed by Bob Willoughby

But that didn’t mean that she wore off the rack! While many of her clothes were custom made by studio designers, she loved Valentino, Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint-Laurent. Many of the gowns she wore in the 1970s and 1980s were custom-designed by her friend, Gianni Versace.  The famous kaftans she wore in the 1970s were by Thea Porter, Vicky Tiel and Yves Saint-Laurent.  She also collected Hermes and Louis Vuitton Luggage suites and couture outfits.

Liz in the early 1960s wearing diamond and emerald jewelry and a green kaftan. Image REX

When it came to dressing Liz was truly revolutionary-she knew how to dress with panache, pairing her outfits with punchy accessories to create an inimitable look.  In the 1950s she topped off her chic sheaf dresses with tiaras, and her 1960s experiments with capes, silk turbans, scarves and dramatic eyeliner are still replicated today.   She incorporated unexpected accessories like veils, hats and furs into her outfits onscreen and off, always finishing her looks with a fabulous frosting of gem-incrusted jewelry.

Liz in 1964, with mesmerizing kohl-rimmed eyes and a sheer headscarf. REX images

Elizabeth Taylor’s love of jewelry was incredible. She often referred to jewels as the third love of her life- along with with ex-husbands Richard Burton and Mike Todd. Her love of beautiful jewelry was so well known that ex-suitor Howard Hughes once proposed to her by suddenly landing a helicopter nearby and sprinkling her with diamonds. She started collecting priceless gems early on in her career and during her life it grew into the almost-mythological collection that is so revered today.

The Krupp Diamond (left), a gift from Richard Burton that she wore almost every day, and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1980s wearing the famous La Peregrina Necklace by Cartier, featuring the La Peregrina Pearl (formerly among the Spanish Royal Jewels) , rubies and diamonds. Image GETTY

Her collection of gems was comparable to one of a modern maharajah; she did indeed own the fabulous Krupp Diamond (later renamed the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond), the ancient La Peregrina pearl (which had been owned by Spanish Queens Margarita and Isabel), the Taj Mahal Diamond (which belonged to Mughal Emperors and is inscribed with the name of a legendary Queen) and the Mike Todd Tiara (an antique piece, circa 1880)…. and that’s just the tip of the jeweled iceberg!

Elizabeth Taylor at a masked ball in Venice in 1967, she is wearing her BVLGARI Grand Duchess Vladamir Suite, one of her favorites. The necklace’s pendant was removable and could also be worn as a brooch.  Photograph AFP

She also avidly collected pieces from contemporary jewelers such as Bucheron, Schlumberger, Cartier, Ruser, Van Cleef and Arpels, Tiffany and Chopard.  Many of her pieces were gifts from her ex-husbands, particularly Richard Burton, who once joked, “I would have liked to buy the Taj Mahal for Elizabeth, but it would have cost too much to transport it.”

Liz wearing the Mike Todd Tiara to the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. It was a gift from third husband Mike Todd, who presented it to her saying, “You are my Queen.” Image EDWARD QUINN

Elizabeth had her hand in designing many of her famous pieces, like her beautiful JAR Sapphire Ear Clips.  The earrings were constructed of  horizontal bands of white diamonds and two colours of sapphires, and were meant to mimic the unusual colour of her eyes.  Designer Joel Rosenthal explains her the design, “She said to me, ‘My eyes are blue, like yours. sometimes green.  It’s the others who think they see violet.’  So, the striped balls are her vision of colour, and the world’s.”

Elizabeth’s JAR Sapphire Ear Clips, constructed by esteemed Parisian jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal (JAR), they were an interpretation of her eyes. Image MURRAY SANDERS

Liz’s collection of jewelry was documented in her 2002 biography “My Love Affair With Jewelry.” Her love of jewelry inspired her to name her best-selling fragrances after her favorite stones- ‘White Diamonds,’ ‘Diamonds and Sapphires,’ ‘Diamonds and Rubies,’ ‘Diamonds and Emeralds,’ and ‘Black Pearls’ to name a few.  She appeared in her fragrance advertisements bedecked in the gems the scents were named for.  Who can forget her “White Diamonds” Commercials from the 90s?  (links below!)

Elizabeth in 1988 wearing her BVLGARI diamond and sapphire Sautior necklace and other sapphire and diamond jewelry.  The necklace was a 1972 gift from Richard Burton. Image GETTY/TERRY O’NEILL

At the time of her death, her jewelry collection was valued at $150 million.  In 2011 The Elizabeth Taylor Foundation paired with Christie’s Auction House to host the Elizabeth Taylor Collection; an auction of over $130 million worth of jewelry, clothes, art and memorabilia.  The collection toured the world for three months before it was auctioned off in Christie’s London and New York, and fetched more than $113 million for AIDS research.

Elizabeth Taylor in 1992 when she won a Special Academy Award-the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. She is wearing the spectacular Van Cleef and Arpels Reine Marguerite jewelry suite, a confection of white and yellow diamonds and carved chrysoprase. Image REX Features

OH LIZ!
You were an icon of style, grace and beauty, you were a generous humanitarian, but most of all you were and will continue to be an inspiration to women world wide. Three years on and your passing still evokes grief. Rest in Peace, you were too fab!

Elizabeth Taylor wearing her famous Krupp Diamond. This photograph was used for her 1991 “White Diamonds” Fragrance Campaign. REX Images

OH LIZ! Part Two

Liz Taylor on the red carpet in 1964. Image REX

I had first planned to write a two-part post about Elizabeth Taylor, however in writing these posts about the life of such a legendary star, I came to realize that two posts would simply not be enough.  So, I decided to split two posts into three- it seemed oddly fitting considering that she has been gone for only three years.  The last post was about her glittering career in film, this one is about her family life, her career outside of film and her causes and charity work.  My final post will be about her style and her legendary love of jewelry.

Elizabeth and her domineering stage-mother, Sara Taylor, in 1937. Image by SNAP/Rex Features

First and foremost, the biggest influence in Elizabeth’s early life was her mother, Sarah Taylor, a slightly overbearing lady and one of Hollywood’s early “momagers”. After having been reluctant to let Elizabeth try out for movie roles,  she now pushed her relentlessly to hone her craft, to be able to cry on cue, and was ever-present on film sets, correcting Elizabeth’s mistakes and signalling her to change her delivery. Education was not important to Sara, and as Elizabeth spent the majority of her childhood on film sets, she was so poorly-educated that she had to use her fingers to do basic arithmetic. Although MGM Studios provided an on-set school with classrooms for its child actors, Elizabeth hated this school and rebelled from it as often as she could.

During her teens Elizabeth became disillusioned with acting and considered quitting in favour of a normal childhood. Sara stepped in, rebuking her with, “You have a responsibility, Elizabeth. Not just to this family, but to the country now, the whole world.”

Sara also had a hand in Liz’s early relationships, pushing her to date famous bachelors like  Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra and Henry Kissinger.  At her mother’s insistence, Liz also dated, and later became engaged to American footballer Glenn Davis and William Pawley, the American Ambassador to Brazil.  Elizabeth broke off both engagements, but she soon married Conrad Hilton Jr. (the great-uncle of Paris and Nicky), in an attempt to escape the influence of her mother.

Elizabeth and third husband, Mike Todd, on their honeymoon in 1957. GETTY images

Elizabeth married Conrad Hilton Jr. in May 1950, their marriage lasting until January 1951.  She truly believed that she was in love with him, but his alcoholism, gambling and abusive behavior quickly drove her away.

She married actor Micheal Wilding a year later in February 1952.  Wilding was twenty years her senior, but she fell for the “gentleness” he displayed whilst comforting her in the months after leaving Hilton.  Their marriage lasted for five years and they had two children, sons Micheal Howard and Christopher Edward.  They divorced in January 1957. Years later, Liz admitted that she was to blame for their divorce saying,  “I gave him rather a rough time, sort of henpecked him and probably wasn’t mature enough for him.”

Liz then married producer Mike Todd in February 1952.  Her relationship with him was tempestuous but this was her only marriage not to end in divorce.  They had a daughter together, Elizabeth Francis.  The marriage ended on March 22nd, 1958 when Todd died in a plane crash near Grants, New Mexico.  Elizabeth would later say that Mike Todd was one of the three loves of her life, along with Richard Burton and jewelry.

Her next marriage was to singer Eddie Fisher a year later in May 1959.  Fisher was Mike Todd’s best friend, and consoled a grieving Elizabeth after Todd’s death.  Their relationship was considered scandalous since it began while Eddie Fisher was still married to singer Debbie Reynolds.  Their marriage lasted for five years, dissolving in March 1964 because of the start of Liz’s most famous and controversial relationship – that with Richard Burton.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in MGM Studios’ “Cleopatra” (1963)

Elizabeth Taylor met Richard Burton on the set of “Anthony and Cleopatra.”  To say that their affair was widely publicized  would be an understatement.  They were condemned by the Vatican for flaunting “erotic vagrancy” because they were both married to other persons at the time. Liz married Richard on March 15th, 1964, nine days after her divorce from Eddie Fisher was finalized.  During her marriage to Fisher, Liz had started the proceedings to adopt Maria, a two-year-old girl from Germany, the adoption process was finalized in 1964.  Richard Burton later adopted Elizabeth’s two daughters.

Their first marriage lasted a decade, spanning from 1964 to June 1974.  Elizabeth tried to focus on her marriage rather than her career, even going so far as to intentionally gain weight in an unsuccessful attempt to deter receiving film roles. The relationship was rocky but passionate, eventually causing their first divorce that lasted sixteen months.  They remarried in October 1975, but  soon separated and re-divorced in July 1976.

Liz and Richard Burton in Look Magazine, June 1967

Due to the great public interest, Elizabeth’s relationship with Richard Burton continued to be closely followed by the media even after their second divorce.

Elizabeth remarried again in December 1976, this time to Republican Senator John Warner.  She relocated to Washington D.C. where she tried to downplay her fame and focus instead on her marriage.  She soon became depressed and entered the Betty Ford Center to overcome her depression.  Six years later, she divorced Warner in November 1982.

Her final marriage was to Larry Fortensky, a construction worker Liz met during another stay at the Betty Ford Center.  They were married in the Neverland Ranch in October 1991, divorcing five years later in October 1996.

In 1971, when she was just 39 years old, Elizabeth Taylor became a grandmother.  At the time of her passing, she was survived by her four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and their children on vacation in 1967. Image GETTY

Elizabeth Taylor devoted countless energy and time in advocacy efforts for HIV/AIDS-related projects and awareness.  She was one of the first celebrities to do so during a time when few people even acknowledged the disease.  It was a cause especially close to her heart as her longtime friend and former co-star Rock Hudson confided his positive HIV/AIDS status with her, before eventually dying of the disease in 1985.  In 1984 she hosted the first AIDS fundraiser to benefit ADIS Project Los Angeles.   In 1985, Liz co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research with Dr. Micheal Gottleib and Dr. Mathilde Kim. In 1992 Liz was awarded a special Academy Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitatian Award for her HIV/AIDS humanitarian work. In 1993 she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to provide critically-needed support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Of her many accomplishments, it was her ability to truly provide help and comfort to those dealing with HIV/AIDS that she truly valued.

Elizabeth Taylor on Capital Hill, where she testified before a senate subcommittee, asking for the Government to increase public spending on HIV/AIDS related healthcare and awareness. Image GETTY

In addition to her extensive AIDS work, Elizabeth Taylor worked for Jewish causes throughout her life.  While she was not born Jewish, but converted to from Christian Science to Judaism in 1959 when she was 27 years old.  She said that she had long considered converting, but that it was the death of Mike Todd that convinced her to do it, saying that she, “felt a desperate need for a formalized religion” after his death and that Judaism was able to address many of the, “questions she had about life and death.”

Her commitment to Jewish causes caused some controversy in her career, particularly in 1962, when she was barred from entering Egypt to complete “Cleopatra.”  The Egyptian government announced that she was not allowed to enter Egypt because she had adopted the Jewish faith and, “supports Israeli causes.”  The ban was lifted in 1964 after the film brought great publicity to Egypt.  Another controversy occurred in 1959 when a large-scale purchase of Isreali Bonds caused Arab boycotts of her films.

Liz helped to raise money for organizations such as the Jewish National Fund and advocated for the rights of Soviet Jews who emigrated to Israel.  In 1976 she famously offered herself up as a replacement hostage in the Entebbe skyjacking incident, where more than 100 Isreali citizens were held hostage in an Ugandan Airport by Palestinian and German revolutionaries.  After the hostages were freed, she acted in “Victory at Entebbe”, a 1977 TV special about the incident.

Liz in a photograph taken in the early 1950s. Image GETTY

She has left behind a legacy that is gargantuan in size.  She has been called the “greatest movie star of all” and “the greatest actress in film history.”  Although she never saw herself as a sex symbol, she played a major role in defining the sexual revolution of the 1960s.  She pushed the envelope of her sexuality be appearing semi-nude in Playboy and by being one of the first actresses to appear completely naked on film.

However it was her accessibility that made the most impact in her personal life.  She was described as being “a star without airs” working well with her co-stars and being uncatty in her work relationships with other actresses.  Director Greg Cuckor once explained that Liz got along so well with her fellow actors because she possessed, “that rarest of virtues—simple kindness.”

Elizabeth Taylor in 1959 on the set of “Suddenly Last Summer.” Photo REX Images

Liz’s talent was summed up best by her ex-husband Richard Burton when he said, “she’s one of the most underrated screen actresses that ever lived, and I think she’s one of the best ones who ever lived. At her finest she’s incomparable.”

Oh Liz!

This was a long one!  We’ll conclude tomorrow with the final post that’s all about her style, her famous love of jewelry, and her legendary collection of fabulous jewels.  Until then!

State of Vogue: April 2014

I’m sure that this was your reaction when you saw the cover of the upcoming April issue of Vogue US:

“WHAT?”

Vogue had barely released its digital copy of its upcoming April edition when the internet exploded with complaints about its choice of cover stars. When I first saw the cover I didn’t even want to write about it, but when I saw the magnitude of criticism that it was attracting I changed my mind.

I do wonder what influenced Ms. Wintour’s decision in choosing them.  Personally I don’t think that Vogue should lower its standards when it comes to placing celebrities on its cover.  It is a highly-regarded fashion and lifestyle magazine and it should only feature celebrities that uphold the standards that Vogue has come to represent.  Vogue should not foray into the sub par category of celebrity gossip magazines by placing reality stars on its cover.

This really would have been an improvement; the fabuloooous Miss Piggy and her beau Kermit. Image THE MUPPETS/FACEBOOK

But enough about that, for those of us who cannot stand looking at the cover I suggest sticking wrapping paper over it, or maybe a picture of another celebrity.

What I want to hear are Andre Leon Talley’s comments on the cover.  I’m almost certain he’s saying something like this:

OH LIZ! Part One

Elizabeth Taylor in 1956 photographed by Richard Avedon for Look Magazine

Now before you go on, please take a second to look at this  and then use the voice while you read this post:

Liz Taylor defined an era.

She was an untouchable force in Old Hollywood; no one was as beautiful, as sought-after,  as famous or as controversial as she.  She was a star that appears  and is never forgoten.  She was everything, and to this day her legacy is still untouchable.

I have loved Elizabeth Taylor ever since I can remember- one of my earliest memories is watching “Anthony and Cleopatra” with my grandparents. It was breathtaking, she was perfect and has fascinated me ever since.  Her whirl- wind romances, exquisite gowns, collection of jewels, her rare violet eyes, her star verve…. she struck me as something that only occurs in stories and she’s captivated me for years.

With the three-year anniversary of Ms. Taylor’s passing coming up in a few days (March 23rd), I decided to write a little bit of a tribute in memorial.

A 15-year old Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of LIFE Magazine, July 1947

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born on February 27th, 1932 in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, to expatriate American parents.  Her mother was a retired stage-actress and her father was an art dealer.  The family lived in England until 1939, when they moved back to the United States in order to avoid the hostilities of World War II.  They settled in Los Angeles, California where her father established a new art gallery using the paintings he sourced in England.  This gallery soon attracted the attention of many celebrities and gained extensive notoriety, earning the Taylor family direct access into Hollywood’s exclusive society of wealth and privilege.

Elizabeth Taylor’s breathtaking beauty was apparent even as a child.  Her mother was constantly urged to have her screen-tested for movie rolls but her mother refused since the notion of a child-actress was an alien to her.  She finally relented and Elizabeth was signed to Universal Pictures in a seven-year contract.  Elizabeth made only one movie with Universal, 1942’s “There’s One Born Every Minute”, and the studio released her from the contract after only one year.  In 1943 she signed a contract with MGM to appear in 1943’s “Lassie Come Home”. She stayed with the studio throughout the duration of her career as a child- and an adolescent-star, and during her transition to adult roles, leaving only after her contract with them ran out in 1961.  Her role in MGM’s “National Velvet” (1944) made her the studio’s top child star, a success that strengthened during her adolescence when she was cast in movies such as “Life With Father” (1947), “Julia Misbehaves”(1948) and “Little Women” (1949).

Elizabeth Taylor in late 1949, on the set of “A Place in the Sun” (1951)

Her transition into adult roles was considered an easy one as she appeared to be much older than she really was, this is why at 16 she landed the role of Mary Belney, a 21-year old debutante in 1950’s “The Big Hangover”. The film failed, but Liz went onto achieve financial success in films such as “Father of the Bride” (1950) and it’s sequel “Father’s Little Dividend” (1951).    It was in 1951 that she also received critical acclaim, when she portrayed Angela Vickers in the film noir “A Place in the Sun” that was shot in 1949. She went on to star in films such as “Love Is Better Than Ever” (1952), “Ivanhoe” (1952), “Rhapsody” (1954) and “The Last Time I Saw Paris”(1954).

However, it was during this period, late 1951-1956, Elizabeth found herself frustrated at the roles she was being offered in tedious, forgettable films.  She wanted to portray more substantial and challenging leads but was only offered roles based on her beauty and sexuality. Motivated, she set about to change her direction.

In 1957, she played Leslie Benedict in the epic film “Giant” a role that won her a Golden Globe award and marked the beginning of an extremely successful period in her career.

Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958)

Following “Giant”, Elizabeth Taylor was nominated for Academy Awards four years in a row for her roles in “Raintree Country” (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), “Suddenly, Last Summer” (1959) and “Butterfield 8” (1960).  She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1960 for her role as Gloria Wanderlust in “Butterfield 8.”

Then came 1963’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”. Playing the female lead, Cleopatra, Liz Taylor became a household name and was catapulted into the stratosphere of enduring Hollywood fame.

Liz would win another Academy Award in 1966 for her role as Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  She was also nominated for a BAFTA for her portrayal of Katharina in the 1967 adaption of “The Taming of the Shrew”

Liz Taylor in “Ash Wednesday” (1973)

After 1967,  Liz’s career began to slow, but public fascination in her life, loves and movements continued.  She appeared in films such as “Boom!” (1968) and “Under Milk Wood” (1972), and she began to work in television, in TV-films like 1973’s “Divorce His, Divorce Hers”.  She won a Golden Globe Award for her role as Barbabra Sawyer in 1773’s “Ash Wednesday”.  She continued to work in television in the 1980s and 1990s, doing TV-films and making guest appearances on television shows and miniseries’ like “General Hospital” and “North and South.”

Liz in “The Nanny!” (1996)

One of her final television appearances was in 1996 when she guest-starred on “The Nanny” (I’m sure everyone remembers this episode-Fran lost her pearl necklace-if you don’t, check the YouTube clip below!), after which she devoted her time to charity work.  In 2006, she appeared in her final role in TV’s “These Old Broads”, starring opposite Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins.

 

Oh Liz!

Now, as this is a fashion blog, and a Liz Taylor post, we have to talk about the fashion.  However, this post long enough so we’ll chat tomorrow.  Can’t wait!