During her visit to South Africa in 1976 with Richard Burton, Ms. Taylor expressed the desire for a full length ostrich feather cape which was then designed for her by Chris Levin.
This unique garment was worn to the Evening News British Film Awards gala in London in November 1975.
Subsequent to this she also commissioned Levin to design her a gown to be worn to Richard Burton 50th birthday party at London’s landmark Dorchester Hotel. A sleek strappy black dress with triangular cut-out across the bust was produced. Further commissions were given to Levin for outfits to be worn with some of her spectacular jewels. Amongst others a simple red pure silk jacquard cocktail dress was created for the legendary ‘Taj Mahal’ gold, diamond and ruby pendant.
In December 2011 a massive auction was staged by Christies in New York of Ms. Taylors jewels, couture and art following her death in March of the same year. All items on auction were first taken on a worldwide tour and exhibited in all major capitals. The cape Levin designed for her (Lot 359) had an auctioneer’s estimate of $4000 to $6000. Came the evening of the auction, the Levin cape Miss Taylor held onto for 36 years fetched a staggering $30’000.
On November 9th & 10th 2013 the black ’50th birthday Burton’ dress came up for sale (lot 1016) at Julien’s Auctions in Los Hollywood. The auctioneer’s sale estimate was placed at between $2000 and $3000. The price realised came to an astounding $24’000.
This gown was also on display at The Museum of Style Icons Newbridge Ireland in November 2013.
The same gown also features in James Christopher’s biographical book of Taylor; Elizabeth Taylor the Illustrated Biography.
THE ICON AND HER HAUTE COUTURE...See full article