In 1950, 18-year-old Elizabeth Taylor married hotel scion Conrad Hilton Jr., who was 23, in Beverly Hills (inset). MGM’s chief costume designer, Helen Rose, created the cream-colored satin dress with the help of 15 seam-stresses, who worked on it full-time for three months. Taylor insisted on a low-cut neckline. Rose obliged but added a layer of white chiffon to keep her “ladylike.” The eight-month marriage was Taylor’s first of eight, including two to Richard Burton. When rumors of her tying the knot a ninth time surfaced, she demurred, vowing she’d never marry again. Taylor died in 2011. The first gown survived her, selling at auction in 2013 for nearly $200,000.
Photograph by Dustin Snipes. Inset: AP Photo/Harold Filan.