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The Marvelous Mr. Mackie - The New York Times

Category: Art & Culture,Theater

In the ’70s, he was a sequin tsunami. His clothes influenced such heavy-hitting designers as Tom Ford, who memorably created a Mackie-esque collection in the late ’90s, and Alessandro Michele of Gucci, who this past spring created looks inspired by the clothes Mr. Mackie created for Elton John during the singer’s biggest hit-making days.

In 1975, Mr. Mackie slipped a svelte Mr. John into a sequined Dodgers uniform. “I dressed him like sort of a male showgirl,” the designer told Vogue recently. Today, a re-creation of that shimmeringly sporty look appears in the opening shot of the teaser trailer for the 2019 biopic “Rocketman.”

Since tryouts of “The Cher Show” this past summer, Mr. Mackie’s flair has become an even bigger part of the onstage proceedings. “I thought after Chicago, ‘Oh, well, we’ll just tweak a few things’,” Mr. Mackie said. Instead, he has spent months designing more outfits, sometimes drawing patterns right on the actors’ bodies, and showing seamstresses exactly where to put mirror tiles for maximum effect.

At a dinner party thrown by Manhattan magazine in Mr. Mackie’s honor on Nov. 5 at the Lambs Club, Ms. Diamond, the 19-year-old actress who plays the youngest version of Cher in the show, gave a toast during which she elaborated on the power of those strategically placed reflectors.

She recounted the day she got to try on a glimmering miniskirt once worn by Cher: a minuscule mirrored garment held in place by only a G-string. She thanked Mr. Mackie for, as she said, introducing their vaginas.

“In all my years in TV and film, I’ve never seen a designer who works this intimately with body types,” said Mr. Suarez, who has worked in publishing, advertising and as a television producer. “One of my favorite things to do is watch Bob sit in the empty auditorium and, as the girls move, sketch with his finger where he’ll put a strap. I’ve watched him stand over people and point to a place and add a sequin. He looks at every body and figures out how to showcase their best assets. We wouldn’t have a show that dazzles if Bob weren’t a perfectionist.”

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