Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Weekend with Bob Mackie

As everyone is well aware this weekend is the OSCARS!  The air in Hollywood is electric with hopes and dreams.  There's been so many great memories from previous Oscars.  For example, we surely all recall the 1999 Academy Awards when Whoopi Goldberg hosted.  That was the year both "Shakespeare in Love" and "Elizabeth" were both nominated for Best picture and 2 actresses were nominated for portraying Queen Elizabeth.  The highlight of the evening came at the beginning of the show when Whoopi Goldberg stepped onto the stage wearing a full head to toe Elizabethan costume.  The outrageous costume garnered huge laughs and is sited as "The" moment at that year's show.  

Being that Bob Mackie had had so much comedic costume experience on the "Carol Burnett Show" he was a perfect fit to design this costume.   In an interview he gave for the Academy of TV Arts Bob Mackie described the costume as needing to be like an iron maiden since she had to do a quick change in and out of it.  So basically it was built to be stepped into and zipped up the back.  All the layers were fashioned into once giant piece.  Talk about genius!  How awesome would it have been to work on that?!  I would have killed to apply at least one bead!

The costume and sketch was sold at the 2005 Christie's auction.  The sketch was valued at $200-300 and the dress at $3000-$5000, the two lots sold for $24,720.  The auction was planned with 10 percent of the sales going to Elton John's AIDS Foundation.  I hope a museum or patron won these lots so that these pieces can be on display for years to come.

-Philip Estrada

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