Bob Mackie, the renowned designer and costumer, played a significant role in creating Tina Turner’s iconic looks throughout her career. They first met in the 1970s when Turner appeared as a guest on the “Sonny & Cher Show.”
Who is Bob Mackie?
Bob Mackie, a former assistant to Edith Head, began designing costumes for Turner as she emerged as a solo artist.
Mackie’s designs for Turner focused on showcasing her legs, which he considered to be beautiful and a key asset. He adopted the principle of not covering up anything and used his talent to transform inexpensive cocktail dresses purchased by Turner into unique and stunning ensembles. His designs often featured less fabric, vibrant colors, and bold elements like beads and fringe.
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One of their famous collaborations resulted in Turner wearing a shimmering red and gold dress with flames covering her nipples. The distinctive style gained attention from other celebrities, with stars like Raquel Welch expressing interest in similar dresses. Turner and Cher even performed together in matching red and gold outfits, creating an electrifying stage presence.
As Turner transitioned into rock ‘n’ roll in the early 1980s, Mackie designed black leather ensembles that reflected her powerful performances. These outfits became synonymous with Turner’s image as a global superstar.
Throughout her career, Turner continued to evolve her style and work with various designers. She posed for the cover of her album “Foreign Affair” in 1989, wearing a fitted dark dress by Alaïa that barely reached her thighs. The cover shoot showcased Turner’s adventurous spirit and daring fashion choices.
Though, Bob Mackie’s influence on Turner’s career and style cannot be overstated. His designs perfectly complemented her energy and stage presence, capturing her fearless persona. Turner’s partnership with Mackie revolutionized her image and established her as a fashion icon.
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In recent years, Turner has focused on her health and spent more time in Europe. Mackie, now in his 80s, has not had recent contact with her. Nonetheless, his memories of working with her, including the rehearsal for her 2008-2009 tour, where Turner shared her iconic moves with the dancers, remain cherished.
Tina Turner’s enduring legacy extends beyond her music. Her collaborations with Bob Mackie revolutionized her style, influenced fashion trends, and inspired other artists. Her fearlessness and individuality continue to inspire performers to embrace their uniqueness and exude confidence both on and off the stage.