Even the Sultan of Sequins has gotta make a living. Bob Mackie, creator of feathered headdresses and bejeweled Barbie gowns, has been selling a low-priced collection exclusively on QVC, the televised home shopping network that also boasts Hulk Hogan and Clay Aiken among its vendors, since 1992.
The brightly colored clothes, which range from $13 for an unembellished knit top to $112 for an embroidered suede jacket, may target an older crowd -- think scallop-trimmed twin-sets and elastic-waist pants -- but Mackie's wackiness is still in the mix, just dialed down a few dozen notches.
It's tempting to dismiss many of the duds as dated, but some are so profoundly retro, they've rounded their way back into mode. A pastel blue Western button-front shirt with multicolored embroidery on the yoke ($37.84) might have been designed with Dolly Parton in mind but would also work for the irony-loving hipster set. A Tiffany-blue jacket with an embroidered graphic of maypole-style ribbons ($44) looks a bit like a classic circus clown costume but would be a bold fashion statement paired with white jeans. And it wouldn't be Mackie without sequins -- the designer festooned a hot pink T-shirt with asymmetrical sequined black tiger stripes ($34). Me-ow.
Not every piece screams, "I've got to be me!" There are some cute, basic items to be snagged for a song -- including a black Jackie-O jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves ($46.50), a forest green tunic with intricate basket-weave embroidery on the yoke ($37.50) and a floral calf-length skirt ($39.50) that's a go-to summer piece when paired with T-shirts and sandals. Unless, of course, feathers and beading are more your speed.
Get the Bob Mackie collection for QVC at www.qvc.com or (888) 345-5788. To mark Mackie's 16 years on QVC, the network will air three shows June 5 (8 a.m., 3 and 9 p.m.) featuring the collection and looking back at the designer's QVC appearances.