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Costume News Theatre

Bob Mackie set to receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tonys

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Costume extraordinaire Bob Mackie is set to receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award ahead of the Tony Awards in June.

The costume legend will be honoured with the prestigious prize by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers in America) at a glittery, starstudded bash on Monday 3rd June.

The swanky ceremony will take place at the Brooklyn museum and is expected to be attended by a whole host of celebrities, artists and designers.

Alongside Mackie, Carine Roitfeld – former French Vogue Editor-in-Chief – will receive the Fashion Founder award and Jennifer Lopez the Fashion Icon gong.

Even Barbie will receive her very own reward with the honorary Board of Directors’ Tribute.

It seems 80-year-old Bob Mackie is heading into a summer of celebrations, as it was announced earlier this month he was nominated for his first ever Tony Award.

The longtime designer is up for Best Costume design of a Musical for critically acclaimed ‘The Cher Show’, which premiered in Chicago last summer and opened on Broadway in December 2018.

Paul Tazewell is also up for the award, for his work on ‘Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations’, as well as William Ivey Long for ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Tootsie’ and Michael Krass for ‘Hadestown’.

Mackie has had a rollercoaster of a career so far, having designed for, costumed and dressed a plethora of Hollywood’s finest, including Joan Rivers, RuPaul, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston.

Liza Minnelli | Image: Heart Truth

Mackie’s colourful career kicks off in the 60s, when he met Edith Head – the costume guru at Paramount Studios – and then began a lifelong working relationship with Diana Ross.

From that point onwards, Mackie designed for Diana Ross even upto her 2010 Greatest Hits tour.

Mackie’s involvement with designing on long-running burlesque shows on the Las Vegas strip such as Hallelujah Hollywood in the 70s and 80s and Jubilee until 2016 perhaps also fed into his latter work with Cher.

Cher | Image by David Carroll under CC

The pair started working together in the early 70s on ‘The Sonny and Cher Show’ and the relationship developed as he designed for her Las Vegas residencies from 2008-2011 and then again in 2017, as well as for her numerous tours over the years.

The king of costumes has been nominated for a staggering 30 Emmy Awards – winning nine of them – as well being nominated three times in the Academy Awards.

‘The Cher Show’ features a whopping 30 different costumes for the three actresses playing Cher, along with 13 wig changes and is quite the extravaganza of flamboyant and bejeweled costumes.

But this is what Mackie does best and presumably is what has earned him the alleged and hilarious titles of ‘the sultan of sequins’ or ‘the rajah of rhinestones!’

And even though he’s just celebrated a big birthday, Mackie feels there’s plenty more left to come, telling CBS2: “I’m 80 and I’m just getting started!”

Catch the 73rd Tony Awards ceremony with James Corden as host on June 9th on CBS2.

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