Whether it’s designing outfits for Judy Garland in the early 1960s to Vanna White just last year, Bob Mackie has played a prominent role in clothing men and women in Hollywood for the past 60 years.
For his contribution to the industry, Mackie is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Sedona International Film Festival, which runs from June 12 to 20.
Mackie will be the guest of honor over two evenings, both at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. On Wednesday, June 16, there will be a screening of “Funny Lady” followed by a Q&A with Mackie. The following night will be “An Evening with Bob Mackie,” which will include a retrospective of his career and conversation with him.
“We are so honored to have Bob Mackie joining us for our festival and accepting our Lifetime Achievement Award,” SIFF Executive Director Patrick Schweiss said. “He has dressed the who’s who in the film and television industries and this is our chance to peek behind the curtain of the creative process and the legendary entertainers his iconic designs have adorned. What a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from the fashion king himself.”
In a phone interview earlier this week from his home in Palm Springs, Mackie said he’s excited about coming to the festival.
I’m very flattered. It’s kind of weird getting a lifetime achievement award but once you get to be this old, I suppose you start getting these types of awards,” the 82- year-old said, laughing. “I got a job when I was 21 or 22 and I’ve been working ever since. It’s hard to believe it’s been 60 years because I often feel 35.”
Being that he has done less work for films than TV or stage, “Funny Lady” was an easy choice to screen at the festival, he said. And the fact that he received one of his three Academy Award nominations for the film doesn’t hurt, either. He felt that the audience would enjoy the film along with its stars, which include Barbra Streisand and James Caan.
Mackie, who said he considered himself more of a costume designer than fashion designer, got his start in showbiz 60 years ago on various television shows.
“It’s something I wanted to do since I was a kid,” he said. “When I was 8, my uncle asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up, Bobby?’ I told him a costume designer. As I got older, in school I was involved in theater and helping with the stage design. To this day I still love what I do. It’s not just about making pretty clothes. It’s about enhancing a character or making a scene more visual. Anything visual that can make an audience excited, works for me.”
Despite his six decades in showbiz, nine Emmy Awards and a Tony, there is one costume he may be best known for and for Mackie, he’s perfectly fine with that.
As the costume designer for the long-running “Carol Burnett Show,” he worked on a skit that was a take-off on “Gone With the Wind.” When he first read the script, he didn’t find it very funny and quickly asked himself what he could do. The result — Burnett playing Scarlett O’Hara in her 1860s attire but with a curtain rod in lieu of shoulder pads.
“I think it was only the day before that I came up with the idea,” he said. “I thought it would make for a good laugh. When Carol came out, I believe it received one of the longest laughs in television history.”
While Mackie has created outfits for celebrities such as Elton John, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and Tina Turner — to name just a few — there is one celebrity that he has worked with off and on for more than 50 years: Cher. From her variety show with Sonny Bono to her extravagant outfits on the Red Carpet, Mackie said she has always been a favorite.
“I met Cher when she was just 22,” he said. “She loves to get dressed up and try new things. It’s part of her persona. If a celebrity doesn’t enjoy it, it’s not fun for me. Sometimes they [celebrities] don’t have an idea as to what they want to do but they know they want to do something different. And that’s where I come in.”
Credit: Source link