Legendary costumer Edith Head discovered Mackie in 1961 while working as a novice designer at Paramount Studios. Mackie’s designs were commonly seen on the Las Vegas Strip worn by numerous Burlesque dancers, Hallelujah inspired by Ziegfeld Follies at the MGM Grand from 1974 to 1980 and Jubilee! Which has been running since 1981. These shows all involve intricate, elaborate costumes and extravagant sets. Mackie’s design drawings from these shows can been seen in the Showgirls Collection.
Mackie however is possibly best remembered for his humorous work on The Carol Burnett Show best with the “Curtain Dress” for the Gone with the Wind parody Went With The Wind, as well as the over the top ensemble worn by Cher at the March 1986 Academy Awards: black stretch pants, a bejeweled loincloth, knee high boots, a black chain-link top, and a huge feathered Mohawk headdress that was one and a half times taller than her head.Mackie is also known for having designed costumes for Whitney Houston, especially splashy evening gowns that she wore for many years during concert tours and award shows and which became a significant element of her appearance.
Mackie is often called the sultan of sequins, or the rajah of rhinestones, known for his sparkling and imaginative costume designs. He has won nine Emmy Awards for his designs, and was thrice nominated for an Academy Award.
Mackie has said, “A woman who wears my clothes is not afraid to be noticed.”
Mackie is also known for his exclusive dress designs for collector’s edition Barbie dolls.