Monday, February 28, 2011

The Vamp an Illustration

Well hello there!  I'm glad you've made it!  Sit down, pour yourself a drink.  Now that you're comfy and properly lubricated, check out this sassy broad.

I call her "The Vamp."  She's a silent screen star from the early days of Hollywood, not unlike Norma Desmond.  This is actually one of my favorite pieces.  I sketched a few weeks ago and have been dreaming of her sparkly goodness since.  The skull cap and fringe will be varying sized rhinestones in Smoke and Black Diamond colors.  The dress is strapless in a gunmetal bias cut silk satin.  It will be encrusted in smaller sized rhinestones and sequins. The faux over dress brings the drama when it becomes an Erte inspired train complete with a tassel made of the same stones as the skull cap and dress.  The cocoon coat is one of Bob Mackie's favorite shapes.  The cuffs will be fox fur, only the finest for Hollywood's brightest star.  I know the dress is not very period accurate for the 1920s but when you look THAT good, who cares?! 

This is also a great time to show my technology skills off to Mr. Mackie.  The sketch above was actually a composite of 2 different sketches that I put together and colored completely in Photoshop.  See below the original pencil drawings. 


Bob, give me a call and let me know when we are going to start working on this ensemble!

-Philip Estrada

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Leopard Lady

This lovely lady was designed by me a few years back (water color on paper).  I brought her out of retirement since she is perfect for me and Mr. Mackie to work on together.  It's all about teamwork people.  The dress will be bias cut silk charmeuse as well as the body of the cocoon coat.  The fur trim will have to dyed fox fur to give it that lush feel one expects when wearing a Mackie.

-Philip Estrada

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's a Sign!

My boyfriend, Ryan, worked his magic and scored him and I seats to last night's taping of "Watch What Happens Live" with host Andy Cohen.  Everyone was super nice there!  Believe it or not,  the show was even funnier in person.  When I first sat down in my seat before the taping I looked across the set to the back wall. On the top shelf was an original Bob Mackie sketch proudly displayed.  Are you kidding me?!  It must be a sign!  It HAS to be a sign!  Bob Mackie is following me for some reason!

Before the show started I whispered to Andy Cohen to get his attention and complimented him on his Mackie.  He said "Oh thanks!  It's real!"  I love that Andy was so proud to share his similar appreciation for Bob Mackie's work.  After the taping I asked Andy if I could get a picture with the Mackie.  Andy replied, "Certainly!  Isn't it great!?"  He also confirmed that he got it at the 2005 Christie's auction when Bob Mackie sold many items in his personal collection.  I wonder if Mr. Cohen bought any other items...  I could only imagine him lounging in a Cher costume sipping some Maker's Mark on the rocks.  I don't judge!

I was super excited!  Apparently I had a stroke.
Photo courtesy of Facebook 

The Tina Turner Sketch - 1977

- Philip Estrada

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A little Bit of Mackie 2/22/11

Madison Square Garden, May 19th, 1962.  Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy.  She was wearing a nude colored scandal designed by Jean Luis.  Bob Mackie illustrated the design.

I need to be working for this man!

- Philip Estrada

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reason #1 Bob Mackie Should Hire Me

There are MANY reasons I should be working on Team Mackie.  Surprisingly most of them don't include my undying love of sparkles and spangles; even though I love sparkles and spangles!  Therefore I will begin listing them off peridoically.  Now please note, these aren't in any specific order and they aren't a countdown by any means.  These are just a grocery list of reasons why I'm Mackie Material.

Reason #1 - Arms
Two of them in fact.  They aren't He-Man arms, but they are strong enough to hold items such as: stacks of papers, a grouping of pens and/or markers, a bolt/roll of fabric (when laid on its side) and a book or two. The arms can hold the aforementioned but are not limited to them.  The arms I have come with hands as well, what luck!  These hand are good for picking things up, typing, pressing elevator buttons, sewing, drawing/doodling, writing things down and, my specialty, holding coffee for acclaimed designers!  Not that you needed proof but they even come with celebrity endorsement.  Pop/Country singer Jewel's hit "Hands" was actually inspired by their work!

-Philip Estrada

Vintage Mackie - Classic Chic

Ok dudes and dudettes.  I was trolling eBay and I found this wonderful little Bob Mackie vintage blazer.  How adorable is she?  I love that she paired the dressed up jacket with that simple casual top and some nice medium washed jeans.   It really polishes the look and brings it together. This kind of look would be perfect for when Mr. Mackie's capsule collection is launched.  Click the picture to visit the eBay sellers auctions.  She's got tons of fun vintage items.

-Philip Estrada 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Quotable Bob Mackie

I need to work with this man.  This quote is pretty much my life's motto!  And on top of that who else has that kind of whimsical attitude about design?!  I love it!

"Put diamonds on the crotch and you're home free." Bob Mackie 2009 "Project Runway"

-Philip Estrada

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wedding Gown Illustration

Here is a wedding gown illustration I did a a few years back.  It's inspired by the full court panniers wore in the 18th Century.  The skirt will be covered in fabric rosettes all applied by hand.  This would be amazing to make this with Mr. Mackie!  Now all we need is a bride-to-be.


Poised for a Resurgence

Lately I've noticed an emerging trend that has become a wardrobe staple. Embellished Separates.  This got me thinking. "You know who would be a natural fit for this trend?  Bob Mackie." It makes total sense. Who else is known for his skills with Rhinestones and Sequins. Not to mention he already buys them by the pound!

There is a whole generation of 20 and 30 something fashionistas who know of Bob Mackie and love his work, but they haven't gotten the chance to wear his designs.  Mr. Mackie has had great success with his collections sold through QVC, and there is no need to end that.  However, I feel that he could easily expand his brand's presence and be warmly received at that.  Undoubtedly there is a place for him in hip young trend setting stores such as: Barney's Co Op, Opening Ceremony, and Scoop just to name a few.  Not to mention all the directional online retails like Singer22 and ShopBob.  The amount of embellished styles carried by these retailers is very encouraging.  Once in these stores it’s an easy transition into Bloomingdales, Barney's, and Saks.  With the brand recognition that the "Mackie" name carries it will surely be a success.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of embellished styles out in the market today.  I believe Mr. Mackie could come out with a line similar to these and women everywhere would live to wear them!  The great thing about these kind of embellished bodies is that they transition easily from day to night.  They have a casual feel to them but the embellishment makes them feel unique and exciting.

I've already started sketching out some ideas, like the above... an asymmetrical top with a bloused sleeve in a soft drapey fabric.  The top would feature a jeweled inset at the neck and sleeve cuff.  A simple shape like this with bold details would be easy for women to wear and even easier for her to feel special and glamorous in.

-Philip Estrada

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fitz and the Tantrums... Mackie Style

I went to the Fitz and the Tantrums show last night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. They put on such a GREAT show plus their sound is amazing! The group has a wonderful 50s/60s soul vibe which is infectious as it is exciting. The siniging duties are split between the band's creator Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs. Scaggs was holding my attention most of the show, mostly because of her powerfully soulful voice, and the way she was working that tambourine like she had a grudge against it. I was enjoying the show but I was thinking in the back of my mind, "She needs some Mackie." Perhaps Mr. Mackie and I could work out some nice stage dresses for her.

It could be a pretty fruitful partnership. Fitz has been on the rise for the past year. They sold out all their New York shows. On top of that they were featured on Perez Hilton's website as well as USA Today which always ensures a boost in popularity. Also they have been prominently featured on directional radio stations such as KEXP. I'll sit down and sketch out some ideas for Noelle, more to come.

-Philip Estrada

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So, I Wanna Work for Bob Mackie...

My name is Philip Estrada, and I am a New York City based fashion designer. Throughout the past five years, my fashion career has been focused on women's denim. However, I like to design women's bridal gowns, prom dresses, and elaborate costumes whenever I get the chance. To be honest, I’ve been thinking lately about what I would really like to be doing for the rest of my career. When I ask myself, “whose career do I look up to?”, the one name I’ve been coming back to time and time again is Bob Mackie.

I did get the rare honor of meeting Mr. Mackie in 2001 while I was attending design school in Los Angeles. I called his costume shop in order to see if they could identify some sketches he may have illustrated. The gentleman on the other line was more than happy to invite me down to the shop so he could tell me if Bob drew them. I asked if he was that familiar with Mackie's work and career, and he said "Of course! I AM Bob!" I was floored! So we spoke for a bit more and coordinated a time for me to stop by. Before I hung up the phone, Bob told me in passing to bring my portfolio too. I mean REALLY?! The ‘Raja of Rhinestones’ was gonna take time out of his day to just shoot the breeze with a 19 year old kid AND look over his college level portfolio?!

When I showed up I asked to see Bob. He met me out front where he quickly ID’ed the sketches as being his work and then invited me to take a tour of his facility, lead by himself, Bob Mackie. Who does that?! He showed me his work table where he still sketches in Prismacolors and behind him were all the Barbie (registered trademark of the Mattel Corp.) patterns. So at this point I felt like I was on some sort of acid trip gone awry. I thought, “This can't be real?”, but it kept on going. He showed the room where the little ladies were beading a gown. Then, we walked past a magenta fox fur cocoon coat on a dress form where he stopped to show me the narrow strip of beading inserted between the pelts. He said, "You can't even see it, but I'm a masochist." SO CHARMING!

After the tour, we sat at his work table where he went through my portfolio. He was very complimentary of my sketches and ideas. Even if he was patronizing me... I didn't care. My idol was looking at my book!

I will never forget that meeting and it fuels my inspiration and attitude toward the fashion industry to this VERY day. He's at the top of his fashion career while still being nice and personable. He's smiling at his coworkers and sitting at his desk doing his own illustrations. This dude is my hero! Therefore, I have set up this blog in an effort to show my idol how much I respect him and how much it would be an honor to be given the opportunity to work for him.

-Philip Estrada
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