Cosmo Cover Documented 1983 Bob Mackie Couture Red Glass Beaded & Silk Chiffon Halter Back Dress
This dress is the twin of the one worn by Brooke Shields for the December 1983 cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine. We also found a photo of the dress that I believe is a backstage shot from the runway presentation. It is instantly recognizable as having been designed by Bob Mackie. Mackie was best known for dressing Cher and for his undying love of opulence and bead work, both of which he incorporates heavily into the best of his designs. Modern girls are obsessed with his vintage pieces. He worked for both Edith Head and Jean Louis prior to working as a costume designer and co-designing with Ray Aghayan. That led to his incredible journey in designing for stars like Cher and Diana Ross for many years. In some ways he and his creations defined their careers and that era of glamour. I think he secretly always designed for the big screen and the bygone glamor of Hollywood as his work is always over the top and extravagant.
This is an amazing dress from his main line. It is extremely sexy and flattering an I am so pleased to have photos of it so that you can see just how great it is on an actual body. The base of the dress is made of a black silk chiffon that has a touch of transparency to it. It is then backed in a layer of the same chiffon to keep it from being see through. Then onto that are thousands of tiny glass tube beads set in vertical rows that run up the full length of the dress. The rows combine a deep, almost black, red bead with bright vivid red beads to get the effect that you see. On the areas where Mackie wanted to emphasize your curves he concentrated the beads into a denser pattern. He then worked in large faceted red rhinestones to add some extra texture and to catch the light even more. This combination of the red glass tube beads and pop of large crystals let every inch of the dress to catch the light and sparkle. The dress has a good weight to it when it is off of the body because of that extensive bead-work and yet once on the body it drapes in a way that it is balanced and not at all uncomfortable to wear. The bodice is cut into a deeply dipped front V neckline. Tiny based straps curve back and around your neck. They hook together to create a racer back and your entire back is left bare and open. The waist is brought in to create shape but there is no horizontal seam to break the lines of the design. It is all done by that clever illusion of the dress wrapping around you. The skirt is incredible and is cut on a curve so the back is longer then the front and it has a high slit at one side at the front. The effect of this is far more dramatic and fabulous on a real body and it really shows off the legs. I love how the denser bead work follows that curving line that is created. It makes your waist look incredibly snatched in. If you even remotely love it in the photos you will love it more when you see it in person. Extremely well made and made to demi-couture standards. These were sent to the stores with a full lining made of a second layer of black silk chiffon and you could remove this if you wanted a true nude, semi-see through dress that Mackie is so well known for. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a black silk chiffon and it closes with a low set painted metal and nylon back zipper. A hook brings the two straps together at the back. Hand finished throughout. It is cut on the bias so should drape to fit a range of sizes
Bust: to 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam with probably a B to small C cup
Waist: to 14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam of the built in corset
Hips: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 63" from top of the shoulder to back hem, 33" to the top of the slit at the front
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Brooke Shields in Bob Mackie, Cosmopolitan, December 1983. / (2) Daryl Hannah in Bob Mackie, Vanity Fair, April 1984. Photo by Helmut Newton. / (3) Mackie Gowns modeled - originally designed for from left to right, Sharon Stone, Cher, Brooke Shields and Diana Ross. (credit unknown).
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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