Liz Taylor’s Wedding Dress? Before Vera Wang There Was Designer Helen Rose

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Helen Rose, MGM chief designer

Helen Rose was the chief designer at MGM Studios in the 1940s. She won two Oscars for Best Costume Design for “The Bad and the Beautiful” starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas, and the film based on Lillian Roth’s autobiography “I’ll Cry Tomorrow.” She went on to design some of the most famous wedding dresses of the time: Grace Kelly’s when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor’s first, when at the age of 18 she married Conrad “Nicky” Hilton. The Elizabeth Taylor dress will be auctioned at Christie’s in London on June 26, 2013.

Like Rose, contemporary designer Vera Wang eventually opened her own design salon (after stints at Vogue and Ralph Lauren) and became famous for her wedding gowns. CeleBrides including Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka Trump and Kim Kardashian, have worn Wang’s distinctive work. Although Rose was never a competitive figure skater like Wang, but she did design the original costumes for the Ice Follies (known later in the 70s as Holiday on Ice). The Skyliners junior synchronized skating team wore her vintage costumes at the 2012 Ice Theatre of New York’s annual benefit gala.

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