The iconic wedding dress that Elizabeth Taylor wore when she married hotel heir Conrad "Nicky" Hilton Junior, the great-uncle of Paris and Nicky Hilton, in 1950 has sold at an auction for £121,875.After an intense bidding war, the elaborate pearl-embellished gown was bought by an unnamed institution at Christie’s auction house in London, and exceeded its estimated sale price of £30,000.The bridal gown was created by legendary costume designer Helen Rose who was also responsible for Grace Kelly's Princess of Monaco dress.
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Elizabeth's gown took fifteen people and three months to make, and was inspired by the wedding dress that she wore when she starred in Father of the Bride in the same year as her marriage. The dress was presented to Elizabeth as a gift from MGM.The cream-coloured gown with a satin train originally had a 20-inch waist that showed off Elizabeth's incredible figure, but was let out to 22 inches.The late Hollywood star married Conrad at the tender age of 18. She was already a celebrated actress and a year away from playing her Oscar-nominated performance in A Place in the Sun.
The couple's star-studded ceremony was dubbed the "wedding of weddings" and the social event of 1950, with Hollywood celebrities Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire among the 700 guests.The couple divorced after just eight months due to Conrad's alleged abusive behaviour and excessive drinking and gambling.Elizabeth, who once said that "marriage was a great institution," was known for her many trips down the aisle. She had a total of eight weddings in her lifetime, to seven husbands, as she married Richard Burton twice.The dress she wore to wed Conrad remained the most iconic of her selection.