The name Bob Mackie might not sound familiar to us at first but with a closer look, we can all realize that it belongs to someone we are quite familiar with. Who is he? Let's take that closer look.
The American designer and costumier, Bob Mackie was born in 1939 and is known to have had an active career since he was 21. Started as a sketch artist he slowly climbed his way up the industry. From Barbara Streisand to Whitney Houston, the famous costume gave life to so many dresses that were seen on famous entertainment stars of history who cannot be forgotten so easily. He was often referred to as "the sultan of sequins" or "the rajah of rhinestones", known for his sparkling and imaginative costume designs. He has won nine Emmy Awards for his designs and has been nominated three times for an Academy Award. Mackie has said, "A woman who wears my clothes is not afraid to be noticed."
When we take a look at Cher's stage wardrobe we can see so many pieces we know also carry the famous designer's signature. Known to have been friends since the 1960s the duo visibly shares a passion for all things glittery and eye-catching. The raven-haired singer has long been a muse of the costume designer, who has created unique pieces for her over the years. One of them was her iconic 1986 Oscars look which was deemed controversial as she was not well liked by the Academy. “They hated the way I dressed and I had young boyfriends so they thought I wasn’t serious. So I came out and said, ‘as you can see I got my handbook on how to dress like a serious actress.’" She says about the dress.
As it was mentioned before, the designer started his journey as a sketch artist for the french designer Jean Louis. One of his first assignments was the now infamous "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress of Marilyn Monroe, which she wore at the late president John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday party at Madison Square Garden to sing him the happy birthday song. While the moment went down in history books it is also known as one of the last public moments of Marilyn Monroe before her tragic death 3 months.
Another look that definitely deserves a mention is Tina Turner's Silver Wings. Another legend of performance who enjoyed everything shiny and dazzling, it is no surprise that Bob Mackie wanted to see her in his designs. When Tina Turner first started to perform a solo at nightclubs in the late '70s she wanted a flashy, operatic image to present herself in. One of Mackie’s flashiest outfits featured pleated silver wings and fringe that had to be constructed from chain because he knew beaded trimming would fall apart after a few of Turner’s notoriously kinetic shows. When Turner dashed across the stage, the wings fanned out behind her. “I looked like I was about to take flight and soar — which was exactly how I felt about being on my own for the first time,” she also says about the outfit.