(17 Aug 2018) AHEAD OF LOS ANGELES AUCTION, HOLLYWOOD FASHION DESIGNER BOB MACKIE TALKS ABOUT CREATING SOME OF CHER'S MOST ICONIC LOOKS
For six decades, Bob Mackie has been one of Hollywood's top fashion designers.
The 79-year-old American costumier has dressed stars including Cher, Elton John, Tina Turner, Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett and Diana Ross – and some of his most iconic outfits could be yours… for the right price, of course.
On November 17, over 200 creations from Mackie's personal collection will go under the hammer at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles.
The sale will feature items ranging from hand-drawn illustrations, to scarves, skirts and full costumes, including several of Cher's most iconic outfits from the 1970s.
On Thursday (16 AUG. 2018) Mackie – along with a selection of the items up for sale – was in London to preview the event. He explained why he's happy for some of his designs to go to the highest bidder.
"They can't throw them in the casket (with me) when I go down," he laughed. "What am I going to do with all this stuff? So why not let people enjoy them and whether they go into a museum or somebody's private collection."
Mackie posed for photographs alongside two outfits designed for Cher: a scarlet red satin gown worn by the singer while performing "Limehouse Blues" on her show "Cher," and a marigold jersey jumpsuit worn while performing "Everyday People" with Sonny Bono on "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour."
Discussing his work for the icon, Mackie explained that he first met Cher "51 years ago on 'The Carol Burnett (Show),'" for which he designed the costumes.
"(Cher) says, 'Well one day when Sonny and I have enough money I'm going to come to you and have some beaded clothes made.' And I said, 'Okay, I'm ready when you are.' And it took a while. We did a few, you know, television specials and whatever and before you know it they had their own show and, 'Sonny and Cher,' and all of a sudden it was, she calls me up, she says, 'I want you to do this show,' and I said, 'No, I'm going on vacation. I really need a vacation.' But guess what? I did the show. And how many years later? It's just amazing."
Half a century later, smiled Mackie, and "Cher and I are still playing the old games – dressing her up and she goes out and sings and carries on. It's amazing."
One of the designer's most recognizable outfits for Cher was the revealing black-sequined gown she wore to the 1988 Academy Awards, where she won the best actress Oscar for her role in "Moonstruck."
The dress featured a bra-style neckline and sheer fabric, exposing much of the star's body.
"It just seemed the right thing for her because she had one of those bodies that you could almost show anything and everything and she looked amazing and she never looked vulgar because she was so toned and so perfect," said Mackie.
"Nowadays her things aren't as quite as bare but then, you know, the lady is in her seventies."
Mackie said the secret to his success lies in creating designs that play to his clients' strengths.
"I always try to enhance the image that they already have," he explained.
"If you're going to appear on stage, you don't want to come on and say, 'Oh is that her? I'm not sure that's her.' You know, you want, you want them to say, 'Yes that's, that's Ann-Margaret,' or, 'That's, you know, whoever, whoever. Diana Ross. That's what she should look like.' And that's very important. You don't try to change anybody you just try to make them look better than ever."
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