Friday, December 23, 2011

A Mackie Christmas to All and to All a Good Cher!

It's the Friday before Christmas and we're all running around like escaped mental patients wrapping up loose holiday ends!  Take a moment to relish in the wonderment this season has to offer.  Watching this video is a good start, it has Cher rocking some Bob Mackie Dickensian inspired Holiday wear.  INTO IT!!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Very Mackie Christmas

Christmas is once again upon us!  I hope that everyone enjoys all the holiday season has to offer!  My gift to you is, besides my radiating beauty, is this video I pilfered from Youtube (times are tough, don't judge).

May I present Mrs. Judy Garland, and her children, Lorna and Joe.  Liza is off skating with her beau.  Notice her fur trimmed wide necked gown... it was designed by Mr. Ray Aghayan.  Gotta love his use of brocade. 

Also for your viewing pleasures here is the original costume illustration by Mr. Bob Mackie!

Merry Christmas to you all my little Mack-inistas!  May the season be encrusted with rhinestone filled wonderment!

-Philip Estrada

Friday, December 9, 2011

10 Minute Mackie Break

Since it's Friday I feel that everyone deserves a little "Mackie Break."  It's the same as a coffee break but far more glamorous! 

It's 1983 and everyone is gathering around their TV sets to see who will take home Oscar.  A Mackie clad Bernadette Peters storms the stage singing a tribute to the legendary song writer Irving Berlin.  In the supporting role is an army of Bob Mackie bedeckeddancers.  Make sure you watch near the end since beautiful Amazonian showgirls take the stage for “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody”.  Can’t help but think these ladies were imported from “Hallelujah Hollywood” in Vegas.

Enjoy your “Mackie Break!”
-Philip Estrada

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Speakeasy Jazz Baby

A sketch I did of a Speakeasy Jazzbaby.  Simply put, I want to make this!  I'm thinking Navy and Pewter.  How Mackie is that fur cacoon coat?  Nothing like Navy fox fur to get your motor running... sweet sweet Navy Fox Fur.

-Philip Estrada

Monday, November 14, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011 was a raging success!!  Our Gender Bent Wizard of Oz cast was the toast of New York! 

Being the wicked witch was so much fun!  Just as fun was making this spectacular costume!  The original inspiration was Bob Mackie's Vegas Masterpiece: Jubilee!  I feel the effect was successful since it was difficult to keep myself from dancing around like one of those epic ladies! 
There is no greater satisfaction as a designer than stepping back from a project and honestly being impressed with yourself.  It's not an arrogant feeling, more like a geniune surprise at what you're capable when you allow yourself to get carried away.  I want everything I make from now on to be on this level.  I raised the bar, now I must live up to my own standard.

A detailed photo inspired by Unmistakably Mackie.

The original sketch...It turned out pretty good, if I don't mind saying so myself.

Now I need to figure out what my next project will be... any suggestions?  Maybe Bob Mackie has a project in mind for me?  I'll be anxiously awaiting my orders Mr. Mackie!

-Philip Estrada

Friday, October 14, 2011

Celebrating the Life of Ray Aghayan

Ray Aghayan

Today Hollywood lost a great talent and Mr. Mackie lost his long time partner.  Bob Mackie has worked with Ray Aghayan since almost the beginning of his career when he was assisting him on The Judy Garland Show.  Aghayan was instrumental in getting the Academy of TV Art and Sciences to recognize the work of the costume designers and won the first Emmy along side Bob Mackie for their work in Alice Through the Looking Glass in 1967.  They worked together on many other memorable and colorful projects including movies, TV Specials, and the Vegas Show "Hallelujah Hollywood".  
Bob Mackie and Aghayan opened a Costume Studio in North Hollywood where they both worked out of.  Mr. Mackie lost a dear friend today and my heart goes out to him and all of Mr. Aghayan's family and friends.  His talent will be missed.

- Philip Estrada

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's Your Sign?

Ok... so there are a couple things we need to discuss.  First, Raquel Welch had a TV special air in 1970 simply titled "Raquel!"  Second, the costume designer on the project was our friend and my future boss Mr. Bob Mackie.  Third and most importantly, there are some pretty trippy sequences which require Mr. Mackie's magical costuming skills!

The "Age of Aquarius" number was filmed at an Aztec temple, naturally, and Raquel is backed up by the entire zodiac!  They all look so awesome!  But if I was forced to choose I'd say Pisces was my favorite, but then again no one is complaining about Taurus.  Lady Gaga would kill for the Pisces headdress!

- Philip Estrada

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Fashion Week You Guys!

I hope everyone has boned up on there champagne sipping skills and practiced air kisses on all there "frien-emies" because we are in the thick of New York Fashion Week!  In honor of the showing of the collections here is Mr. Mackie's own tent show from 1993.  The collection is Las Vegas themed and Mr. Mackie has home field advantage!  I love the subtle reference to Jubilee in one of the hats.  You knocked it out of the park Mr. Mackie!

- Philip Estrada

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wide World of Mackie

Well look who we have here in the September issue of Italian Elle Magazine... it's none other than Miss Cher herself!  And who is this ravishing beauty wearing in her 4 page article?  Mr. Bob Mackie of course, on every page!!

Mr. Mackie has always had a global appeal.  And here is the proof in black and white.

-Philip Estrada

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moving Onto the Jacket

Now that the cuffs are completely sequinned it's time to start embellishing the jacket.  I've begun added sequins and beads to the lapel.  How's it lookin so far Mr. Mackie?

- Philip Estrada

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prom Gown - Photoshoot

Hello Everybody!  Boy have I been a busy little beaver!  Over the weekend I threw together a quick photoshoot to document the gown I made my niece for her Senior Prom.  Even though it was last minute the finished product shows no evidence of it.  I guess it helps when you are collaborating with some great people!  I hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor.

We actually ended up shooting the stairwell of my office building.  I was shocked to find that the doors to the lobby were hiding such a beautiful setting.  It really sets the tone for the gown since it was inspired by a more glamorous era.

- Philip Estrada

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mackie is a Girl's Best Friend.

Everyone loves Carol Channing!  Not just the gentlemen... because she's the blonde, get it?  Do you know who she loves?  Apparently she loves Mr. Bob Mackie.  Mackie designed the costumes for her triumphant return to broadway in "Lorelei," (1974) the sequel to "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."   One of the gowns she refered to as "The Diamonds Dress" and she wore it at every opportunity!

Miss Channing perfoming with The Pops in 1989.

1984 at the Tony's

With Miss Piggy in 1980.  Lucky Muppet!

Bob Mackie has the uncanny ability to make gowns that transcend time with an otherworldly quality.  His ability to make the wearer look like a creature from a dream with no basis in reality is unmatched.  Being able to suspend reality is an amazing skill and not easy for some designers.  This comes in handy since trend and timeline don’t apply which keeps his work timeless.

When designing I hold true to that same mind set.  I want my work to go beyond trend and maintain his sense of enduring style.  When I work for Mr. Mackie I would certainly keep this mantra in mind.  Just give me a start date Bob!  My sequinning fingers are ready!

-Philip Estrada

Sunday, July 31, 2011

30 Years of Jubilee!

This weekend Bally's Las Vegas will be hosted the 30th Anniversary performance of it's hit show Jubilee!  I'm super stoked for them, but bummed, since I couldn't be there.  I have been obsessed with that show and it's history since I first heard about it when reading Bob Mackie's book Unmistakably Mackie.  Mr. Mackie's designs for this show are truly breathtaking.

I found these wonderful pictures that I hope you enjoy.  I don't know much about the history but it looks like they were taken during rehearsals in 1981.  I love seeing the behind the scenes glimpses.  The making of Jubilee is just as fascinating as the show itself.

 Mr. Mackie finessing the ladies is his designs.

 Looks like he giving them some pointers, he undoubtedly picked up some moves from Cher.

A magazine article showing the costumes in full color - awesome! 

I found the costume sketch for the outfits... I love Mr. Mackie's illustration style.

I wonder if anyone from the show can confirm if these costumes are still in Jubilee!  When I saw it I was dazzled by the whirlwind of sequins and feathers and I can't be certain if I saw them.  I can't wait to return to Vegas and see the show again!  

Mr. Mackie's talents are endless and I hope that one day I will be able to work along side him.  Knowing a designer's history is key.  This tells you where they have come from and you are educated in their work and style.  This allows you to stay true to the original intention and aesthetic the designer has developed as their signature.  Since beginning this blog Mr. Mackie's work has become an even deeper passion of mine.  I love learning new things about him and his rich history.  I look forward to the day when I can learn new things directly from the master himself.

-Philip Estrada 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Drum Roll Please....

Here is the moment you've all been waiting for!  The zany video I promised you has finally arrived!  I honor of reaching 100 likes on the Facebook page I present to you me dancing around to Cher's "Song For the Lonely" celebrating the awesomeness that is Bob  Mackie!

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it!  Don't forget to tell eveyone you've ever met to "Like" the Facebook page.  After all, imagine what I'll do for 500 likes.

-Philip Estrada

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sequined Cuffs - Half Full

I finished sequinning one of the cuffs for my Halloween costume!!  That means I only need to sequin 1 more!  1 of 2 equals 1/2!  I have reached the half way point and I could NOT be happier!  Now I have to back the cuff with fabric and line it so it can be attached to the jacket... which will also have sequins on it.  How could Mr. Mackie not love this AMAZ-BLING Baby?!

 - Philip Estrada

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bob Mackie Art Event

In honor of the Bob Mackie Art event today I thought I share with you a little Bob Mackie Illustration gem!  Wouldn't mind having this beautiful lady hanging on my wall, if you know what I mean.

- Philip Estrada

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sequin Progress - Coming Along Nicely

Just a little progress report on the cuffs to my Halloween Costume.  As you can see I'm over 1/2 done with the purple sequin portions.  On the purple sections I've bee alternating the direction of the sequins to accentuate the movement in the design.  To think there is a second cuff that has to be sequined.  I never said I was an underachiever!  I think Bob Mackie would be proud...  What do you think?

-Philip Estrada

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sketchy Lady

I was sketching today and this lovely lady came to me.  I have a pretty large bag of big sew-on rhinestones at home and they need to be used up.  Maybe I'll make a "nude illusion" gown that Bob Mackie is famous for.  It could be encrusted with strategically placed crystals with a super dramatic white fur stole.  Great for the gal on the go.  She's giving me visions of Marlene Dietrich during her stage act days and I loving it!

What do you guys and gals think?

- Philip Estrada

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I was sketching out ideas for Halloween.  Since I'll be the Wicked Witch the BF is gonna be a Male version of Dorothy.  We decided on blue gingham lederhson.  Here is a quick sketch I did in my notebook.... more to come!

-Philip Estrada

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Internet - Now With More MACKIE!

Lately I have been exploring the world of Web Series and Podcasts.  One of my faves is “Kevin Pollak's Chat Show”.  It's great he's been streaming live weekly shows from his website for almost 2 years.  The format is pretty simple.  He sits down with a person of note (usually a celeb) and chats with them for around an hour and a half to two.  I honestly think Bob Mackie would make a wonderful guest but we'll deal with that later.  Kevin Pollak has managed to turn an unpaid rag tag team of people into a show that has live weekly viewers up to a thousand at a time.  The wonderful thing about the show is that they still retain they’re motto from the first show, “We aren't ready.”  The chat show archives are now hosted as a pay to download audio podcast on iTunes and has started carrying them as a DVD for purchase as well.  On Kevin’s website the full videos of the show are hosted with short commercials inserted periodically.  This helps pay his crew for their time.  I've been watching the show for about a year now and it makes me really happy to see them succeed.

This got me thinking about my future BFF and employer Mr. Mackie.  Bob needs to get in on this racket.  People love Bob Mackie because his charm is undeniable and infectious.  So here’s my pitch!

There have been rumblings about Cher working on a new studio album.  With a new album comes a world wide tour.  Since it's a Cher tour Mackie will be called upon once again to make her look amazing 30 times over.  This is where the web series comes in.   How fascinating would it be to have a documentary film crew follow the Bob Mackie and team on the journey from first sketch to first concert?!  The film could be released directly on in 15-30 minute weekly episodes in conjunction with the start of Cher’s tour.  The episodes will most likely go viral and gain more and more viewers as the weeks progress and additional episodes are posted.

The concept reminds me of “Signe Chanel,” a documentary series (5 half hour episodes) that was filmed in 2005.  The crew filmed at the Chanel couturier as they prepared and eventually showed the Chanel Haute Couture collection by Karl Lagerfeld.  The show is fascinating because it focuses mostly on the process and the human drama of producing these amazing works of art. 

Having the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mackie I would bet that the tone of his documentary would be equally if not more beautiful!  Seeing Bob Mackie illustrate and present his ideas to Cher could be an episode all on its own.  Seeing his ladies sequin and bead bringing Cher’s costumes to life would be amazing to watch in time lapse sequences.  I’m actually salivating at the idea of watching this series and it is only an idea!  Having this kind of access inside the world of Bob Mackie could potentially secure this project as one of the “go to” fashion industry films.

Releasing the film for free is a great marketing tool since the Internet was founded on the concept of sharing art and information for free.  Many big names in Hollywood have been making internet specific content for a while now.  Will Ferrell and many other big name stars, including Academy Award Winners, have been working with to shoot short form comedy videos, Joss Wheden shot “Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” with Neil Patrick Harris, specifically for internet distribution in 2008, Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube, even the White House is posting videos online.  Major TV networks have recently gotten on the “internet specific content” band wagon as a means to promote their weekly programs and bring in additional advertising revenue.  If the Bob Mackie bills really do need to get paid then he can go the route of Vimeo, and have a short commercial at the beginning of each video for ad dollars.  It makes sense for Mr. Mackie to utilize this tool to his advantage.  It will easily bolster his street cred with this new tech-savy generation that is poised and ready for new and fascinating content.

I would love to watch this series let alone work on this project.  I wonder what the Bob Mackie fans think about the idea of a webseries?  Thoughts?

- Philip Estrada

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sequin Progress - Enter the Purple

A new color enters... A challenger to Black from a far of land.  His name is Midnight Purple.  They say he has the fastest fists of all the Cobra Kai's pupils.  I may be mixing my karate movie references but who cares!  The purple sequin portions on my cuffs are starting to look AMAZBLING!!

What do you guys think?!

-Philip Estrada

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sequin Progress - Part C

Hey there friends!  So I finished the black sequin portions on the cuff I was working on!  So that means I am over 50% done with one half of my cuffs!  I love progress!

Now all I have left is to do is fill in the blank areas with my deep purple sequins.... thing are HAPPENING!!!!!  My costume is going to be super Bob Mack-a-licious AND amazbling!  Come on Mr. Mackie.  How can you say "no" to this level of sequinny goodness?

- Philip Estrada

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prom Gown Illustration

This is the sketch for my niece's senior prom gown.  The direction she gave me when I was considering designing the gown was "I want to look like Marilyn."  That was it... there would be no arguments the gown would come from me, and be my graduation present to her. 

The gown is strapless and made from Pewter colored silk satin.  The body of the gown has a black silk chiffon overlay to give it a nice subtle color change.  The kicker is that the bodice is encrusted with various sized rhinestones that spray down the skirt peeking out from under the drape.

My niece said loved the gown and had a wonderful night.  More pictures to come.

This is another example of my working directly with a customer on a special occasion gown.  I enjoy working closely with people who have an interest in custom clothing and it is very rewarding.  I love presenting the ideas that I am excited about and in turn having them light up in the same way.  It is also wonderful to have the include client during the process.  I sent my niece quick photos of the progress and her excitement continued to build as the gown took shape.   Working this way feels as though you are inviting someone into the creative process even though they may not be artistically inclined.  On some level it's a form of teaching, opening their eyes to the act of creation. 

My ease of working with clients would be very valuable to the Mackie team since he has so many custom clients.  I could assist on projects with Bob Mackie that requires extra attention or a second set of hands.  I could be on hand to handle clients when Mr. Mackie is out of town or predisposed with larger scale projects.  I would be the one to handle the details and day to day dealings while keeping Bob abreast of developments and progress.  I would actively spearhead projects with new clients and they will be brought in to help grow the business and broaden Bob Mackie's presence. 

These are a few reasons of why I would be a perfect fit for the Bob Mackie team.  All that I need now is a start date.

-Philip Estrada

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mackie Shirt

I finished my latest Mackie t-shirt.  I paired the hot pink t-shirt with a shiny black cup sequin.  It looks really awesome!  The black sequins sparkle like crazy.   I got the shirt from American Apparel and it is a 50/50 cotton poly blend so it is light weight and is super soft.  I LOVE IT!

I think it would be wonderful if Bob Mackie starting making these shirts and selling them directly from his website.  Having his iconic signature emblazoned across the front of a casual t-shirt is a great juxtaposition.

How much would you pay to own a Mackie piece you could wear everyday?

-Philip Estrada

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reason #5 Bob Mackie Should Hire Me

Reason #5 - Learning

Just like little Ralph Wiggum I too have been learning.  I feel another reason Mister Mackie would benefit from hiring me is because I constantly take it upon myself to soak up information and learn skills. 

I have always have been proud of my self discipline to learn as much as I can and further my knowledge on the talents I possess.  I've always been the kind of person that goes out of their way to research information that improves my abilities.  I do this not only for my computer based skills, but I also love learning new things in sewing and garment construction.

Case in point, in college I took a machine knitting course.  It was a pretty basic class, but I loved the concepts.  After I finished the class I purchased two different gauge knitting machines with ribbing machine attachments.  We didn't learn the ribber in class but it came with a manual so I figured it out.  I pride myself on experimentation.  I love reading the information in a book while sitting at the machine so I'm able to try out the theory right then and there.  I feel that I have taken in a ton of information on how to use these machines and still there is more they can do!

In addition to the machine knitting I taught myself the Tambour technique of embellishing.  I have been hand embellishing and have constantly thought that there has to be a faster way.  After seeing videos of The House of Lesage on YouTube I realized that the hook tool was the key.  So I researched where to buy the tool and how the technique was done.  I had to make a makeshift frame to suit my apartment and now I'm sequining the hell out of everything!

Now these are only two examples of my readiness to pick up and learn new skills.  I've always found that learning and problem solving go hand in hand.  I've asked myself "I wonder how they do that?" countless times.  Each time I ask that, I inevitably research and find the answer no matter how long it takes.  The wonderful thing about these new skills is that they are not shortcuts.  Sometimes they end up taking more time to execute but my work looks so much more elevated and professional.  I have realized that the more mature I get and the more I learn the better I become as a designer.  I have been able to continually raise the bar on myself because I find ways to reach further than I thought I could.

My enthusiasm to learn new things would definitely be an asset to Team Bob Mackie.  I could be his go-to guy for anything that needs innovation.  If I don't know how to accomplish it I will figure it out.  My answer for any question or problem that may arise will always be "I'M ON IT!"

- Philip Estrada

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sequin Progress - Part Deux

Just a quick update on the sequining progress.  This is the shape of the cuff on my jacket for Halloween.

The finished outlined edge of the cuff.  Note the use of the slightly contrasted bugle beads.  The organza I am sequining on is stretched across my make shift Tambour frame.

Beginning to fill the cuff body with an undulating pattern.

Close up of the hand work.
- Philip Estrada

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Lost Art of Jubilee!

Jubilee! at Bally's in Las Vegas is coming up on 30 years of dazzling audiences with showgirls dripping with rhinestones and feathers.  This show is amazing and a must see for everyone visiting Sin City. 

In honor of their 30 years I wanted to share with you a Bob Mackie sketch for the show.

This was a proposed sketch for the Jubilee! that didn't end up getting used for the show.  It was auctioned at Christie's in 2005.

I love this idea because it's 2 looks in one and there is a big show stopping reveal.  The show should consider using this if they ever want to switch up the costumes.  Could you imagine her?!  Strutting slowly down the stairs during the finale with the other ladies dressed in red.  The cymbals crash and she drops the top wowing the audience with even more feathers, sequins and rhinestones!

I was thinking about how much fun it would be to make something this epic.  I love her "bowl" of ostrich plumes.  I already have a statuesque friend who meets the showgirl height requirement.  She's been studying the Jubilee! promo videos so she's ready to go at a moments notice!

- Philip Estrada

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sequin Progress

I started sequining the cuffs to my jacket for Halloween.
They are going to be encrusted with cup sequins in a fishscale pattern and accented with bugle beads.

This is one pack of sequins... I may have to buy them by the pound

- Philip Estrada

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Know It's Early

I realize Halloween is a few months away but lets face it, time gets away from us very easily!   Therefore in order to outdo my costume from last year I've already done some strategizing and sketching.  

The plan this year is to do an ensemble costume of the cast of "The Wizard of Oz."  Seems simple enough but here is the twist!  Each character's gender will be switched and the costumes will be redesigned and pushed to the limit!  

I shall be a male version of the Wicked Witch of the West!  I designed a 1920s cutaway tuxedo jacket with tails extended to the floor.  The sleeves and front panels would be accented by shiny emerald lurex embroidery in vine motifs (I can do some pretty cool stitches on my sewing machine).  Underneath would be an emerald encrusted double breasted vest.  The cravat would be super frilly and be made of a black iridescent fabric with green undertones.  I would sew sequins with beads spaced evenly on the fabric.  The whole thing would be topped off by a black top hat with an emerald sash.  The whole look will come together with my broom that I will be carrying.  That was the original plan, but then something happened...

... The Jubilee Backstage Tour.  After seeing all those beautiful Bob Mackie costumes inches from my face I had an epiphany.  I must, at all cost even death, push my designs to the level of artwork like the costumes of Jubilee.  That experience has been one of the most inspiring things I ever had the benefit of experiencing so intimately. 

The original concept of the costume is remaining much the same, but now the embellishment will be pushed beyond anything I have attempted thus far.  The cuffs are now going to be encrusted in bugle beads and black cup sequins.  The cuffs will extend past the sleeve and emerald and raven color feathers will be inserted into the ends to reference the wings of the Wicked Witch's flying monkies.  The vest will still be encrusted in emeralds, which I'm greatly looking forward to.  The embroidery on the jacket will now be accented with raven black seed beads and wonderful brunished green sequins I found.  They have a matt oil slick quality to them with flecks of yellow and black in them.  I plan on sprinkling the sequins and beads along the embroidery randomly to give it an organic and etherial feeling.  The hat will now have a mass of plumage pouring from it in coordinating emerald and raven colors.  Luckily I found a trim store in the fashion district that has an amazing selection and variety of feathers and I've already begun stocking up.

I think this is going to be a wonderful Mackie-esque Halloween.  I hope you enjoy my sketches, and I will be sure to post many updates of my progress!

-Philip Estrada

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cher Sends Her Love

Happy Friday friends!  I hope you have wonderful plans for this weekend.  Myself I plan on relaxing and squeezing in as much personal work as possible.  I can't help it!  I find it relaxing!

So today I was browsing the Youtube and found this adorable video.  Bob Mackie's buddies Cher and Carol discuss hosting a variety show and give the various crew teams a shout out.  It was wonderful to see them give Mr. Mackie the first shout out AND by name!  You can really tell that Carol and Cher appreciate his talent and dedication.

Enjoy! And have a wonderful weekend everybody!

- Philip Estrada

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Marilyn!

Today is the birthday of THE sex symbol of the 20th century.  Marilyn  Monroe was amazing and will never be replaced.  Check out this beautiful print of her by Bob Mackie.  Only 275 were made.  The piece was auctioned off at Christie's in 2005 and went for $777.  10% of the proceeds went to Elton John's AIDS Foundation.

Mr. Mackie is such a talented and generous man.

- Philip Estrada

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Princess of Power

Halloween is my favorite holiday of all.  There's is nothing like it.  Last year in particular was one of the most fun Halloweens ever!  Not only do I enjoy myself celebrating the holiday but I also enjoy preparing for the day itself.  My boyfriend and I brainstormed about what duo we could dress as and we finally settled on Super Mario and his lady-friend Princess Toadstool (I was the princess since he called Mario in lightning speed).  Being that I'm an overachiever I couldn't settle with just recreating the character.  I had to redesign the beloved friends pushing them to the hilt.  I also had to bare in mind that they still had to be recognizable.

The fun thing about Princess Toadstool is just that.  She's a PRINCESS!  Just admit it... everyone secretly wants to dress like a princess.  Even for just one day.

Above is the working sketch of the jacket/vest combo for my princess outfit.  I wanted a turn of the century fiddle back with over sized puffed sleeves and lapels to match the over sized skirt.

Bringing this character to life was one of the most enjoyable things I have gotten to do in a long time.  It was truly wonderful to see her through from the sketch to the finished product.  I have had the opportunity to make a couple of wedding gowns and prom dresses but nothing compares to the sheer scale of this gown.  From the hoop skirt to the complex over skirt and the elaborate jacket, this ensemble had a lot of love and work put into it.  I relished every moment and look forward to topping it this year.

-Philip Estrada

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cee Lo-berache

Cee-lo Green's new video for "I Want You" was released yesterday.  The video was filmed at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.  It also features six dancers from the Bob Mackie designed revue "Jubilee" which runs nightly at Bally's.  It's so wonderful to see the ladies working their Mackie duds behind one of today's biggest stars.  It'd be awesome if Cee-Lo performed a few special shows with Jubilee!  He could wear his wonderful Liberache inspired costumes.

- Philip Estrada

Friday, May 27, 2011

A New Kind of Love

Since this weekend is a holiday I wanted to share with you a beautiful sketch to set the tone.  Mr. Mackie did a lot of costume illustration for many studio costume designers including this one for Edith Head.  This illustration was for one of the showgirls in the movie "A New Kind Of Love" (1963).  I love this sketch!  Bob Mackie must have been using this opportunity to hone his craft for when Vegas would be tapping him for Jubilee in 1979.

It was actually a couple of sketches from "A New Kind of Love" that allowed me to meet Mr. Mackie, I'll be forever greatful to Eva Gabor.  See Story Here.

I hope everyone enjoys the sketch, and their weekend!

- Philip Estrada

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cher is Taking It Home

Take me home
Back home is where I want to be
Wrapped in your arms so tight
Just making love... 

Cher is amazing and always will be.  One can't think of Cher without thinking of Bob Mackie and the vice/versa.  I would like to take a moment to share with you some sweet sweet Cher/Mackie action.

Here is the cover for the "Take Me Home" album released by Cher along with the costume illustration. 

One of the many things that I love about Mr. Mackie's work is that the final product looks just like illustrations.  I love the challenge of making the finished ensemble reflect the original design as much as possible.  I thrive on that spur of the moment problem solving, as well as those times when I have to stand back and scratch my head.  It is pure bliss when the solutions to problems hit you like a ton of bricks.  It would be wonderful to work along side Bob Mackie, and I would relish the challenge of interpreting his visions into finished works of art! 

- Philip Estrada

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Birthday CHER!


Today is your birthday CHER!  Bob Mackie's original muse.  He's always stated that dressing you was the bee's knees.  According to Mr. Mackie, and I'm paraphrasing, "She is tall and slender and could wear anything."  Your 40 year collaboration with Mackie has produced many moments we will never forget, even if we tried.  See also, Academy Awards and "Turn Back Time".

I hope you have a wonderful birthday Miss Cher!  Slip into your favorite Mackie and raise a glass of champagne to another wonderful year!  If you can put in a good word with Bob Mackie for me that'd be much appreciated.  I know you have a new album in the works and he's gonna need extra hands when you come in for your fittings.  THANKS!

-Philip Estrada 
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