CDG - The Costume Designer

Summer 2019

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32 The Costume Designer Summer 2019 "DARE TO BE NOTICED" is a catch phrase Bob Mackie has used throughout his fifty years as a Costume Designer. But the words describe his muse, not the man. Mackie, a boyish 80, quips he was once the youngest mem- ber of the Costume Designers Guild, and now is the oldest. This is not precisely true, but age has no bearing on the breadth or relevance of his work, or in his enthusiasm for his art—which is fresh, bright, and contagious. Audacious and authentic to his singular vision, his career is littered with statuettes, including a Costume Designers Guild Career Achievement, nine Emmys, the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Academy Award nods. But in the past year, Mackie has been lauded with a tsunami of recognition, including the Outer Critics Circle, The Drama Desk, the CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, and finally, the Tony Award for The Cher Show. Also, he is the subject of an upcoming documentary which is anticipating a 2020 release. The Cher Show is a Costume Design tour de force. Mackie recreates a lifetime of Cher's looks which whip past in two hours and 25 minutes like a deck of cards being shuffled, dealt, and shuffled again. The unifying device is the conversation running throughout the show between the three Chers—Babe, Star, and Lady. Like glittering nest- ing dolls, costumes are underdressed and layered with such intricacy that the periods race by, scenes are evoked, and dance numbers recreated. It is difficult for even an expert eye to follow the sleight of hand which propels time and the narrative expertly forward—sometimes with a stage filled with dancers or just one perfect leather jacket. Mackie couldn't be exact, as years seep from one scene into the next, but he feels the costumes work for the audience. "She wears things that she would have worn in 1975 and she looks right, because it was her style to begin with." In one dazzling moment, dancers wear a selection of Cher's most unforgettable looks. As each steps out more vivid and out- Mackie By Anna Wyckoff Bob The Cher Show

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