He's been called the Sultan of Sequins. L.A.'s own Bob Mackie, the go-to designer for divas everywhere, from Carol Burnett to Cher, Diana Ross to Pink, is giving fans an opportunity to own a piece of Hollywood history.
For the first time, Mackie is releasing a collection of framed costume and fashion illustrations from his archives, available to purchase on his website. The drawings are as colorful as the designer's career. There are illustrations of "Ziegfeld Follies"-style showgirls, "Floradora girls" from the 1975 Las Vegas production of "Hallelujah Hollywood," strippers from the 1993 TV production of "Gypsy," and Carmen Miranda lookalikes festooned with fruit.
In all, there are 46 sketches available, each selected by Mackie. The first series of reproductions come in two sizes, for $69 or $179. New sketches will be released every three to six months.
And, at last, he has a fabulous new website to showcase the scope of his 40-plus-year career. (Mackie started out in the 1960s assisting costume designers such as the famous Edith Head.)
The new site features Mackie's exhaustive list of TV and stage career highlights. Did you know he won the very first Emmy ever awarded for costume design? It was for work on the 1967 NBC television movie "Alice Through the Looking Glass." Mackie is also the only costume designer to have been inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
Mackie designed costumes for the 1970s-era variety show "Donny & Marie," which helped stoke my interest in fashion as a little girl. And Marie can still fit into those dresses today, a fact I learned when I saw the brother-and-sister duo's reunion show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. (That's thanks to Nutrisystem, she was sure to plug.)
The new website is Mackie's second foray into the digital world. Last year he launched a Facebook page, quickly amassing nearly 50,000 fans, many of them much younger than he expected. He will also be launching a personal blog, which I can't wait to read.
Come on Bob! Live blog the Grammys red carpet. Pleeeease!
-- Booth Moore
Sketches courtesy of Bob Mackie