After breaking sales records with its $137 million auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry in December 2011, Christie’s is now putting up the screen legend’s first wedding gown for sale.
On June 26, Christie’s will auction the satin dress in a pop culture sale, where it’s expected to fetch as much as $75,500. Taylor wore the dress, designed by MGM costume designer Helen Rose, when she married Conrad Hilton at 18. The wedding was an elaborate affair, attracting 700 guests including Hollywood icons such as Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Taylor’s wedding dress was an equally elaborate affair: the gown had a 15-yard satin train and required a team of more than 15 people who worked full-time on it for nearly three months. Still, it wasn’t Rose’s most famous creation—she’s perhaps best known for designing Grace Kelly’s wedding dress for her marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. The high-collar, long-sleeved number has been widely copied and provided inspiration for the wedding dresses of celebrities (Ivanka Trump) and royalty (Kate Middleton) alike.
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Taylor’s wedding gown isn’t the only big fashion item the auction house will offer up this summer. Just two weeks after the pop culture sale, Christie’s will present an online-only auction of select pieces from the wardrobe of Suzy Menkes, a longtime fashion journalist who will soon assume the title of international fashion editor of the revamped International New York Times.
“I have never thrown anything out of my wardrobe since 1964,” Menkes said in a statement. “If I had a large open space in my home, I would dedicate it, like an art gallery, to my collection. But there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks.”
Christian Lacroix dresses, an Hermes silk scarf and a quilted Chanel purse adorned with “SUZY” in gold letters are among the 80+ designer items up for grabs from Menkes, whose lot goes on sale July 11-22.