The lecture on Friday was so amazing! I arrived dutifully early to ensure that I got the best seat in the house. Chris who works for the Bob Mackie team here in NYC saved me a seat behind her in the second row, eye level with the chairs set up for our speakers. Being a half hour early gave me plenty of time to relish in the excitement and talk myself into calming down. Ryan arrived shortly after. He's so wonderfully supportive. We chatted about the day's events and I tried my best to pay attention. Every time anyone walked out of the holding area off stage I got excited and my attention was gone. I was so wound up. Later my dear friends Nicole, Leah, AnnMarie, Nancy and Jason arrived in support of my quest.
Then off in distance in a small hallway there was a figure. It was him, the Raja of Rhinestones, the Sultan of Sequins... it was Bob Mackie. I was suddenly six years old again and had just seen Santa Claus. This is really happening, my idol will be sitting seven feet away from me speaking about my favorite subject, himself. Hal Rubenstein and Mr. Mackie came to the stage under a barrage of thunderous applause. They were introduced and Hal began speaking about Bob's career.
It was so wonderful. Bob is the most humble designer ever. He really embraces his title as a costume designer and you could tell by the way he spoke that he loves bringing characters to life through clothing. Hal Rubenstein's book 100 Unforgettable Dresses was also the topic of the lecture so he shared some highlights and asked Bob to share his thoughts. Of the many gowns Hal shared most were Mackie's own designs! It was really wonderful to hear about the design process of some of his iconic work.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Duffey
The question and answer portion of the lecture began and my body heat rose twenty degrees and my heart began racing. I couldn't just sit there and NOT ask a question. This was my chance, I had six million questions racing through my mind but none of them was making sense. After a few questions were asked, my gut filled with doom... this will be ending very soon! My hand shot up, it was now or never. Mr. Rubenstein called on me. I sat up on the edge of my seat and professed myself as Bob Mackie's biggest fan. He complimented my shirt, and I asked him "In your career you have worked with so many ladies that kept coming back and were very loyal to you. What was it that you feel that made them keep coming back to you?" He explained that it was an intimate personal relationship. He learned what each woman needed and how her body wore clothes differently. The moment his answer ended I immediately followed up with, "Do you think that personal relationship is what young stage stars are missing, and that is why they don't have the prolific careers that your clients have had like Cher or Diana?" He expressed how that was a good question and he felt that some girls are getting there with their style and he thinks Lady Gaga is getting there. Hal shared how he was at a charity event and Bernadette Peters performed and how amazing she was and how the sunset glistened perfectly off her gold sequined gown. He told her how epic she looked and she responded "I looked amazing because it's a Mackie." So true little lady... so true.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Duffey
After the finish of the lecture ended I grabbed my little gift bag and hightailed it over to speak to Mr. Mackie. I introduced myself and gave him my card telling him that I was his number one fan who is responsible for this blog. He exclaimed, "That's you!" I was so flattered that he knows who I am! He is aware! I gave him his own t-shirt which he adored. I hope that he sends me a picture of him rocking it! Bob was so wonderful, he was taking pictures with his fans and signing autographs. He is so giving and selfless.
Mr. Mackie was so kind he offered to sign Ryan's shirt. It was so awesome. Ryan was so excited!
It was such a fantastic night. Meeting Mr. Mackie again was such a delight. He's always such a nice guy. As we said our goodbyes I told him, "See you on Monday."