Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry

While visiting the library, I borrowed My Love Affair With Jewelry on a whim.

Not a bad whim.

My Love Affair With Jewelry is a big ol’ coffee table book with heaps of oversize photographs and chatty stories describing how Taylor acquired her famous jewels; charm bracelets, the Taj Mahal diamond, the Krupp diamond, La Peregrina pearl, the Taylor-Burton diamond, the bejeweled titanium elephant-shaped evening bag, and so on. I don’t buy much fine jewelry *cough cough*, but I’m always interested in superior craftsmanship and stories from Old Hollywood.

Behold the glamorous Taylor wearing her favorite pieces to many events and finding new ways to wear the same [priceless] jewelry; a massive brooch may double as a pendant, a hair ornament, a movie prop, and so on. Golly, Elizabeth Taylor ‘shops her closet’— just like us peasants!

Better still, it’s fun to observe how Taylor’s appearance and personal style evolve over decades. Could YOU make the same jewelry work for forty years?

The photographs reveal an era of subtler retouching; seeing visible pores here, peach fuzz there, or Taylor without her brows penciled on serves as a remember that even famously beautiful humans are human.

Tip: Before you curl up with this book and a mug of tea, read Wikipedia’s Elizabeth Taylor entry; tracking all those marriages is confusing, and the book is strangely laid out. For example, a photo on p. 127 is captioned “A marriage in Neverland,” but not until p. 144 is the mullet-sporting groom identified asĀ  Larry Fortensky. Perhaps someone thought this was common knowledge?

Quick, easy read, heavy on eye candy.

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  1. There were so many of her years where the gorgeous lily was not guilded. She was truly one of the most uniquely beautiful people ever and sure didn’t need the baubles. Worked all her life. Quite ill for much of it. It was thought that if Michael Todd had lived she would’ve stopped the weddings with him, but remember, all those men really wanted that woman.


    Rebekah Reply:

    She was RIDICULOUSLY beautiful, and it does sound like she’d have kept Michael Todd forever. He bought her a belle epoque diamond tiara which she sometimes wore it in the swimming pool. Swimming in diamonds…

    In the book, she said she wasn’t much interested in being an actress in her youth, she disliked taking orders all day. If she was a good girl and obeyed, she was rewarded… with another script. I imagine she had to rebel in SOME way.

    If your library has this, it’s well worth a look. There are a trillion photos of Taylor, and some of the jewelry is glorious. Some, like the jewel-encrusted monkeys-and-bananas necklace from Michael Jackson, are just puzzling.

    I’m curious to know more about her. The book had several stories in which she “jokingly” nagged people into buying her zillion dollar jewels, and I’m wondering if this was more endearing in real life than it seems on paper. When you look like Elizabeth Taylor, maybe normal etiquette doesn’t apply. Or maybe these anecdotes would be presented differently if she were a writer.

    There’s a book called “Furious Love” about the Taylor/Burton marriages. Looks promising, if slightly lurid. I hope it has lots of pictures.


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