When Bob Mackie designs a costume, gown, and even casual clothes, he starts by putting pencil to paper. Every design begins as a sketch. That’s a lot of sketches by this prolific designer! Sometimes, when fans recognize Bob in public, after they get his autograph and a selfie, they ask for a sketch to keep as a memento.
Carol Burnett’s “Starlett O’Hara” costume is one of Bob Mackie’s most recognizable costume designs. During her skit on The Carol Burnett Show she quipped, “I saw it in the window and I just couldn’t resist it.” Bob worked on her show for 11 years. “If Carol could make her first entrance and get a laugh without saying or doing anything funny, that was a lot of fun for me. Or if a comic’s pants would fall down when they were supposed to, I was a happy man. Comedy was a serious business for me though—it was really my own little science. It wasn’t just about putting funny clothes on people.”
When Bob was a boy, he loved going to the movies. When he got home, he’d sketch what he saw in those films. Then he’d tape his drawings to soda bottles. “I’d put a 45 record on the player and shine a flashlight on my scenes. I was producing my own musicals. Of course no one would ever see them except me, but I figured I was training myself for what I’d do later.” During his career, Bob designed many memorable evening gowns and headdresses. This sketch turned into the stunning ensemble Cher wore for a magazine cover shoot.
Bob’s been sketching designs for QVC since he debuted his clothing line on QVC in 1992. He remembers those early days—with the rotating round stage. “You could be selling scarves and there’d be cooking smells. There was no make-up room and one green room for everyone!” Next month, you’ll see his sketch of a sporty top and pants combo brought to life as Bob Mackie’s Floral Embroidered Knit Top and Knit Crop Pants Set (A290695). Watch for it in May when it’s the QVC2™ Big Deal™!
Bob has 25 years of good memories at QVC with no plans to retire. “It’s fun! I love the people here.”
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