Beth Snow: Designer’s fanciful fashion featured in new book | Lifestyles

I am a firm believer in the power of glitter and brilliance to brighten up the short, dark and chilly days of winter, especially after the holidays. a little something

Today’s book hits those criteria for me and marks an interesting diversion to post-holiday ‘blah’.

“The Art of Bob Mackie” To Frank owner When Laura Ross Bring some sparkle to your coffee table book realm. The deep blue front cover is surrounded by a shimmering turquoise flame and sprinkled with tiny silver bubbles. The title and author are printed front and center in a glossy silver art deco font.

The effect is similar to so many Mackie creations — cutouts adorned with wavy strips of plush fabric suspended in crystal-encrusted illusions. A little great shot infused into the day.

Mackie, known today as QVC Clothing Distributor, is a veteran costume and fashion designer with a 60-year career. He rose to fame on television, designing films, Broadway, pop and his star Las Vegas shows. His signature style blends boldness with humor, giving looks that range from campy to dazzling.

A native of Southern California, McKee briefly attended college and art school before retiring to work in Hollywood. He began his career in 1961 as a freelance sketch his artist at Paramount Studios under his famous costume designer, Edith Head.

The following year he moved to 20th Century Fox to sketch for costume designer Jean Louis. While there, McKee created a sketch of the designer dress Marilyn Monroe wore to President John F. Kennedy’s birthday party (the same dress Kim Kardashian wore to the 2022 Met Gala). ).

In 1963, McKee began working as an assistant to costume designer Ray Agayan on The Judy Garland Show. From there, his television work grew into a full partnership with Agayan, focusing on variety shows and musicals, with Mackie soloing for his career and most notably successful, Carroll his Burnett and Sonny & Cher. set up a weekly variety show for

Mackie’s career exploded in the late 1960s and 1970s while working with Carol Burnett and Sonny & Cher. He went from a sequined, feathery over-the-top concoction for Cher’s musical numbers to a parody of Barnett’s “Gone with the Wind” and the infamous “Curtain Rod Dress” (now at the Smithsonian) for his sketches. ) to create everything. For Burnett’s Variety show alone, he designed between 60 and 70 costumes each week during his 11 years, and in total he designed approximately 17,000 costumes. This is an amazing feat of imagination and stamina.

His weekly television work has expanded to include other media and performers. Mackie’s work has been nominated for over 30 Emmy Awards (winning nine), three Oscar Awards, and he has won a Tony Award. In 2019, he received his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He continues his work today.

“The Art of Bob Mackie” is a chronological journey through Mackie’s career, loosely divided by the types of performances he designed, including film, television, stage and music. The book is “the first comprehensive and formal showcase of the legendary designer’s life and work, featuring more than 1,560 photographs and sketches, many from Mackie’s personal collection. ”I claim.

It’s not overwhelmingly thick, but it’s large, and every inch is filled with drawings and photographs (often the same outfit, showing its evolution) in eye-catching layouts. Illustrations, both large and small, are hidden around the text or placed in larger spreads. While McKee’s more famous work, such as television variety shows and work with pop icons Cher, Diana Ross, and Elton John, occupies more space in the book, there are interesting (and sometimes surprising) stories throughout his career. ) works well covered. .

This book has a lot to offer. The author does not discount Mackie’s visual contributions. It’s a great title for anyone interested in costume design or fashion illustration, as it provides a window into the designer’s process and artistic skills.

For example, we briefly trace the course of Mackie and Cher’s collaboration and its subsequent impact on her career as she transitioned from ’70s-influenced streetwear to beaded, feathered, and sometimes shocking attire. can do.

Unfortunately the quality of the short text does not match the quality of the illustrations. The written content is riddled with outdated, cheesy, overly talkative digressions and descriptors that sound like they came from a mid-century Hollywood gossip magazine. please. That’s OK: This book is ultimately all about great art. Dig deeper or come back for a little bit. Either method works.

Whatever you think of his work, “The Art of Bob Mackie” offers a glimpse into the career of one of America’s most influential costume designers. You can find more information on this topic, and more in the library, where there is something for everyone. Happy reading!

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