Elizabeth Taylor's Iconic Style

While the late Elizabeth Taylor dazzled the world with her on-screen performances, it was her style -- from tailored '50s dresses to Taylor's over-the-top jewelry during the '80s -- that made her a fashion icon.

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NOVEMBER 24: Actress Elizabeth Taylor poses for a portrait on the set of the movie "Giant" which was released on November 24, 1956. (Photo by Frank Worth, Courtesy of Emage International/Getty Images)
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While the late Elizabeth Taylor dazzled the world over with her on-screen performances, it was her style -- from tailored '50s dresses to Taylor's over-the-top jewelry during the '80s -- that made her a fashion icon. Here, an early portrait of the young star in 1951 in a buttoned-up look.
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Taylor, famous later in her career for her sex appeal and glamour, was earlier a portrait of innocence, sporting charming (if prim) looks with a schoolgirl appeal.
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In her early career as a starlet, Taylor exemplified early '50s American chic, sporting dresses with nipped-in waists and full skirts.
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Here, Taylor poses with fellow actress Lorraine Day at an airport circa 1955.
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When Elizabeth Taylor wed hotelier Conrad Hilton at the young age of 18, she sported the quintessential '50s silhouette: an ultra-slim waist and a high-neck collar.
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In the years that followed the wedding, Taylor increasingly embraced the look that would define her as a star and as a sex symbol: a perfectly fitted dress with a wide neckline that emphasized her decolletage.
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A portrait of Elizabeth Taylor in a white satin strapless gown circa 1953.
John Hancock
Elizabeth Taylor poses with fellow actor Robert Taylor at the after-party for the premiere of the movie "Quo Vadis' in Los Angeles in 1951.
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The look was one that would become her signature for years to come: Here, the actress poses in Rome in 1962.
As late as 1992, Taylor was sporting her signature look at the Academy Awards, posing with Paul Newman.
Elizabeth Taylor wears a low-cut pale pink gown at a party with eighth husband Larry Fortensky.
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Elizabeth Taylor's transformation from innocent young girl to American sex symbol happened rather quickly. Here, Taylor poses by the beach in a girlish one-piece.
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By the mid-'50s, she was hamming it up in a push-up bikini on the set of the movie "Giant."
By 1959, she was striking a decidedly sexier pose in a one-piece swimsuit for "Suddenly Last Summer."
John Hancock
Elizabeth's Taylor then enjoyed a kind of style renaissance in the '80s and '90s, transforming her signature brand of sex appeal into all-out glamour. Here, she poses with designer Calvin Klein.
Here, she wears an eye-catching tiered gown at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's tribute in 1986.
Sporting a slinky blank dress with metallic flowers at the 1985 Golden Globes.
Wearing lace and a sparkling pin with George Hamilton in Arizona in 1986.
James M. Dodge III
Head-to-toe sparkle and glamour at the Drama Desk Awards at the Rainbow Room in New York City.
Posing with Burt Reynolds in a sequin red gown at the 2nd Annual Starlight Foundation Benefit Gala at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
More sparkles and shoulder pads -- this time at the premiere "Comfort and Joy" at Academy Theater in Beverly Hills.
Taylor seemed to even be aware of -- and embrace -- her glamorous-to-the-point-of-camp aesthetic. Here, she playfully sports a sparkling sweater embellished with her own face in sequins.
J Luis Rey
Taylor also showed an affinity for embellishments of other varieties -- namely, headpieces. In 1964, she married her fifth husband, Richard Burton, wearing a garland of flowers on her head.
David Uthe
Here, an '80s portrait of Taylor shows her wearing a ladylike purple gown with matching flowers in a headpiece.
John Hancock
In 1996, Taylor complemented her sparkling gown with a matching sparkling turban at a party with Richard Burton in Rome.
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Taylor also loved her furs: Here, she poses with fellow actor Robert Stack in the late '40s wearing a glamorous fur wrap.
Toni Guinyard, KNBC-TV
In a portrait of Taylor in 1966 with then-husband Burton at London Airport, the actress wore a large fur coat.
Angela Conners
In 1948, Taylor accessorized a prim ensemble with a ladylike handbag and a massive fur coat.
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Then there is Elizabeth Taylor's legendary collection of precious jewelry. As signature as her bosom-enhancing dresses, Taylor never seemed to be without few spectacular pieces of bling, like this emerald-and-diamond necklace she wore to the Academy Awards.
Daniel Stucker
In the '70s, she opted for chunky gold and silver statement jewelry.
Emily Holzhauzer
Here, she sports spectacular matching emerald-and-diamond necklace, ring, earrings, and headpiece at a premiere in Paris.
John Hancock
At Elton John's 13th annual AIDS Foundation Oscar Party, she sported an eye-catching choker and matching earrings.
Emily Holzhauzer
When the sparkles and diamonds weren't enough, Taylor cheekily added feathers. Here, she poses at Michael Jackson's 30th anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden.
Elizabeth Taylor wearing a cream-colored gown, statement jewelry, and a matching cream boa.
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