Bill Belew
6 Images

Bill Belew | 1931-2008

Bill Belew, shown here with a figure of his inspiration in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said in an interview last year: “As a wardrobe designer, Bob Mackie had a perfect muse and a perfect canvas in Cher. I got to have that in Elvis.” (B-K Enterprises)
Elvis Presley is shown in 1968 in a black leather get-up designed by Bill Belew, who was Presley’s costume designer and fashion guru for many years. Belew died Jan. 7 in Palm Springs. (UPI)
An undated photo of Elvis. Belew’s flamboyant costumes were worn by the singer from 1968 until his death in 1977. (Globe Photos)
The King in 1971. “As a wardrobe designer,” Belew said in an interview in 2007, “Bob Mackie had a perfect muse and a perfect canvas in Cher. I got to have that in Elvis.” (Associated Press)
Elvis performs in 1972 in a Belew-designed jumpsuit at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “Bill Belew changed the face of rock and roll fashion,” says Presley costume historian Butch Polston. “Bill is the one who created the jumpsuit. After that, everybody wanted to dress like Elvis. He designed stuff for the Osmonds, the Jacksons, just numerous celebrities.” (Associated Press)
Elvis performs at the Las Vegas Hilton in the 1970s. Belew, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York, also created costumes for Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Brooke Shields and Gloria Estefan. (MGM)