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On Wednesday night Kelly Ripa was admiring the mannequins set up in The Pierre hotel penthouse home of Marty and Barbara Zweig. “So Barbara sent me an e-mail that said wait to you see the clothes, they’re divine,” Ripa said.

On cue, Barbara Zweig walked over to say hello to her guest.

This story first appeared in the September 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The red dress is going to blow you away,” the hostess said. “There’s a size four mannequin and they can’t zipper it.”

Each of the mannequins in the room wore a look from the personal collection of Elizabeth Taylor, soon to be auctioned at Christie’s. InStyle, which co-hosted the cocktail party, will feature the late actress’ collection in the October issue.

“She’s so much tinier than any of us realized,” Ripa continued of the actress, who died in March at 79.

Zweig agreed: “But you look at the picture and you think her boobs are so big…. She looks so voluptuous.”

Then talk turned to the HotPants.

“The HotPants downstairs?” Zweig offered.

“That’s what greeted us,” Ripa said. “The HotPants…and I said those are my daughter’s size!.…My daughter is 10 and those would barely now fit her.”

Other guests included Rachel Roy, Chris Benz, Dylan Lauren, Lorraine Schwartz and Bruce Weber, on whom the dresses had a particular effect.

“I just loved her so much as a friend,” the photographer said. “It’s wild to see the clothes. It’s quite emotional in a way.… I photographed her a lot so I’m imagining her in a lot of these clothes and it’s weird for me to touch them because she’s not in them.”

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