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‘Larger than Life’: Tina Turner Costume Stars at V&A’s Divas Exhibition | Tina Turner

“Tina Turner was greater than life to the end,” her friend, fashion designer and co-creator of some of her most famous looks, Bob Mackie, said this week before the release of Tina Turner. said to Divathe late singer starred in a blockbuster fashion exhibition at the V&A in London.

When asked to assess how today’s diva aligns with her predecessor, the 83-year-old, whose career has spanned from designing for Lucille Ball and Doris Day to guest judging RuPaul’s Drag Race The designer seemed unimpressed.

The provocateur, who dressed Cher in a Mohawk headdress at the 1986 Oscar Awards, points out that Beyoncé’s first stage outfit was made by her mother, who “used to say ‘Bob’. “I see what McKee is doing for Cher,'” he said. ‘ he pointed out.

Despite the incredible fashion prowess of Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, packed with one-off commissions from the world’s hottest catwalk designers, Mackie was unfazed. “You don’t really show your talent in clothes. It’s like Naomi Campbell performing in a nightclub,” he shrugged.

The flame dress McKee designed for Turner in 1977 is one of the highlights of the Divas exhibition, which opens on Saturday. Supple ribbons of red and gold sequins sway loosely from a nude corset designed to swing around Turner’s thighs, creating an optical illusion that exaggerates the length and drama of each step as she dances. I was.

“It was like a caveman’s dress,” McKee recalled. “It wasn’t just hanging out there like an old Halloween costume. She’s done it. Tina has the best body and the longest legs and she used it all up.” Once on stage, she became rock and roll.”

In the great tradition of showmanship, the divas have moments of tragedy and controversy, complete with Las Vegas-sized feathers and sequins. “She knew Tina wasn’t feeling well, but she was shocked to lose her,” McKee, who has known Tina for 40 years, said. “There was still great joy in that wild laugh of hers. I thought she would be here forever.”

McKee identifies willpower as the basis of the “dichotomy” and Turner’s character. “Tina was training her daughters in rehearsals so that she could dance the way she wanted them to dance.”

Original sketch of Tina Turner’s framed dress by Bob McKee, 1977. Photo: V&A
Rihanna is also one of the lauded
Rihanna is also one of the lauded “diva” on the show. Photo: Peter Kelleher/V&A
Behind the scenes during the Diva installation at the V&A.
Behind the scenes during the Diva installation at the V&A. Photo: Jamie Stoker/V&A

The exhibition traces how the Italian word for “goddess” came to be used to criticize someone who speaks loudly and occupies a place with confidence, showing confidence and swagger. Reuse the word “diva” with Even if they weren’t conventional heterosexual men.

Visitors get an immersive audiovisual experience thanks to headsets that switch between tracks depending on which display case the wearer is closest to. The dizzying soundtrack straddles Maria Callas playing Bellini’s Norma and Rihanna singing Umbrella at La Scala in 1954.

Among the exhibits is Josephine Baker’s costume, which is still sensationally risqué almost 80 years after she wore it on stage in Paris. A crystal bikini, cups suspended by fragile straps, luscious cherry red beads on her nipples for the illusion of nudity, and the thinnest, most frothy knickers.

Mackie is the godfather of the naked dress trend, and it’s evident in Diva, where celebrities from Lizzo to Julia Fox go nude with just a hint of sparkle. The red carpet is getting hotter and hotter every year.

“The secret is that you have to be naked enough. And not everyone can pull it off like Cher.”

Marilyn Monroe in the semi-sheer gown she wore while singing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy.
Marilyn Monroe in the semi-sheer gown she wore while singing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy. Photo: Cecil Stoughton/AP

A 23-year-old assistant to designer Jean Louis, McKee sketched the dress in which Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy. When Kim Kardashian wore the dress to the Met Ball last year, McKee said the loan was a “huge mistake” and said Monroe’s dress was “designed for her and no one else will wear it.” shouldn’t,” he said.

Exhibition curator Kate Bailey believes: You can be a diva regardless of gender. Freddie Mercury, who once said he had more in common with Liza Minnelli than Led Zeppelin, was photographed shirtless in tight white jeans and an ermine wrap, while Elton John’s She is seen wearing a 50th birthday outfit and high-heeled black satin boots. Introducing Prince with custom cushion soles for dancing.

But women are definitely the stars of the show. Bailey skillfully criticizes the double standards in the entertainment industry, which pushes female stars to extremes and accuses them of being too grandiose and demanding.

Amy Winehouse at the Brit Awards in London, 2007.
Amy Winehouse at the Brit Awards in London, 2007. Photo: David Fisher/Rex Features
Rihanna wearing Maison Margiela at the Met Gala in 2018.
Rihanna wearing Maison Margiela at the Met Gala in 2018. Photo: V&A
Lizzo's faux ermine dress comes with a sash from Victor & Rolf's 'Don't be a dr, just be a queen'.
Lizzo’s faux ermine dress comes with a sash from Victor & Rolf’s ‘Don’t be a dr, just be a queen’. Photo: Guy Bell/Shutterstock

Amy Winehouse’s sunshine yellow plain dress is styled to impress, with visible black bra straps that are as much a part of her look as the honeycomb hairstyle.

But much of the show’s finale section is a fun love letter to modern pop’s bold wardrobe. Despite Mackie’s rant, Beyoncé gets praised for showing her formation video in cinema size.

The crystal-and-pearl encrusted dress, coat, papal miter and sash Rihanna wore to the 2018 Met Gala were emblazoned with ‘Don’t hold back, it just has to be’. Rizzo’s white faux fur haute couture evening coat. “a queen” combines the glamor of court dress with the sassiness of the street.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jun/20/tina-turner-outfits-v-and-a-diva-exhibition-prince-elton-john-bob-mackie-singer ‘Larger than Life’: Tina Turner Costume Stars at V&A’s Divas Exhibition | Tina Turner

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