7 of Priscilla Presley's most iconic outfits
With her babydoll eyeliner and glam shift dresses, the Queen of Rock and Roll’s style is totally emblematic of 60s Hollywood decadence.
Photo via Getty Images
Hailed as the Queen of Rock and Roll — Elvis was her husband, after all! — the beautiful and enigmatic Priscilla Presley left her indelible mark on the American cultural landscape throughout the 60s and 70s. With her signature babydoll eyeliner, massive bouffant ‘do and ultra-glamorous take on Mod fashion, Priscilla’s signature look is at once completely singular, yet emblematic of the era’s decadent rock-and-roll-meets-Hollywood lifestyle. In fact, Priscilla’s instantly-recognizable 60s look is so iconic that it continues to show its influence on today’s pop culture, think Lana Del Rey’s LA-glam look — flicked eyeliner and perennially “done” hair — and myriad lyrical references to the King of Rock and Roll, himself. Beyond Priscilla’s role as rock-star-wife, she’s also gone on to pursue a string of business ventures — including launching her own fashion line — and a career in acting, that saw her signature 60s look transform with the times. Think 70s blow-out hair, bell bottoms, and loads and loads of denim. Here, on the event of Priscilla’s 76th birthday, we chart her life, career and ever-changing style, through a selection of her most iconic outfits.
At her wedding to Elvis Presley, 1967
Priscilla first met Elvis Presley in Germany in 1959, during the American rock star’s Army career. Elvis’ brief military stint ended a year later, and after keeping in touch over the phone, Priscilla moved to America in 1963 to live with Elvis at Graceland, his Memphis mansion. The duo wed on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. While Elvis wore a paisley suit, Priscilla wore a simple — yet extravagant — pearl embellished floor-length gown, accessorized with a tiara and three foot veil. Despite the Presley’s stature, Priscilla’s dress wasn’t custom-made — it was purchased off-the-shelf from Los Angeles department store Westwood during an incognito shopping trip and fitting.
Boarding their honeymoon jet, 1967
Immediately following a champagne breakfast reception, the newlyweds boarded a private plane bound for their chosen honeymoon destination, the Californian resort town of Palm Springs. But not before an outfit change! Priscilla slipped out of her white wedding dress and into an LWD — that’s little white dress. The era-appropriate shift frock was outfitted with a black bow, and Priscilla accessorized the look with a pair of demure T-bar heels and a small beaded purse.
Welcoming the birth of daughter Lisa Marie with Elvis, 1968
Exactly nine months to the day after the Presley’s wedding ceremony, Priscilla gave birth to her and Elvis’ first and only child, Lisa Marie Presley. Despite having just given birth, Priscilla is photographed, here, still at the hospital, in her signature 60s makeup and bouffant hair-do — wearing a stunning fuschia shirt dress, we might add. That’s commitment!
At the wedding of George Klein and Barbara Little, 1970
Right at the turn of the decade, in 1970, Priscilla abandoned her signature 60s Mod look for the new decade’s more relaxed — albeit eclectic — style. Gone was the babydoll makeup and major bouffant, and in was the natural brown blow-out and no-makeup look. Here, attending the wedding of George Klein, an American DJ and one of Elvis’ lifelong friends, she wears a hooded turquoise shift dress with peplum, a look that sits squarely at the intersection of 60s and 70s trends.
Outside her Beverly Hills boutique Beau & Bis, 1974
After her divorce from Elvis in 1973, Priscilla launched her first — of many — business ventures. In 1974, she opened up high-end Beverly Hills fashion boutique Bis & Beau with friend and longtime stylist Olivia Bis. Together, the duo designed the boutique’s in-house line, which made fans and clients of celebrities including Cher and Liza Minnelli. Here, Priscilla attends the boutique’s grand opening wearing one of her own designs, a bedazzled Canadian tuxedo complete with denim tie.
At home in Beverly Hills, 1975
Clearly, Priscilla’s devotion to denim runs deep. After wearing denim-on-denim to the opening of Bis & Beau, the businesswoman posed poolside at her Beverly Hills home wearing a full denim bikini, complete with the standard jeans fly closure.
Filming Those Amazing Animals, 1980
Priscilla closed the doors on Bis & Beau in 1976, and by the 80s was pursuing an acting career. Her first acting role arrived as a single-episode stint on action series The Fall Guy in 1982. The following year, she got her big break, being cast in iconic, long-running American soap drama Dallas, before starring in the wildly successful Naked Gun movie trilogy. Before garnering these cinematic roles, however, Priscilla was appointed co-host of Those Amazing Animals, an ABC reality TV series that featured strange and unusual animals from around the globe, in 1980. Here, on set of Those Amazing Animals, she wears a very era-appropriate pale blue jumpsuit paired with the decade’s ubiquitous flat-brimmed cap. This extremely 80s look polishes off Priscilla’s style evolution, from the 60s to the decade of excess.
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