Bob Mackie and Johnson Hartig came together for a lively talk at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Sunday in celebration of Libertine’s first book for Rizzoli, but the conversation quickly strayed to more juicy topics like Mackie’s relationships with Cher and Diana Ross, and his take on Kim Kardashian. The Emmy-award winning costume designer, who has known and designed for Cher for 40 years — in comparison to Hartig’s 15-second meeting with the singer backstage at her concert, during which he got her to sign a note he’d penned to himself, a photo of which appears in his book — shared that she used to buy jackets in every color, “and then have me redo it and throw some s–t on it…I always hated doing it.”

As for Ross, he said, “I’ve known her since 1968 and see her all the time but I don’t do anything for her anymore. She’s an Aries woman. She always wanted to be a designer and she would take the labels out of the clothes I would do for her so nobody would know who did them. One day I just walked out of a fitting and that was that. Now it’s kisses and we are old friends.”

As for the current red carpet stars who say that Mackie was their inspiration for the sheer looks at the Met Gala, “Kim Kardashian, who shouldn’t be wearing a dress like that. You don’t do it unless you look fabulous in it. There’s not enough beads in the world to cover her.” After a pause, he called her “a lovely woman” and quipped, “I’m old, I can say things I want.”

Although Mackie stopped designing a line for Seventh Avenue years ago, saying he never cared for fashion and that “tits and feathers shows” such as the long-running Jubilee in Las Vegas were more his speed, he has been asked to costume a new Cher musical and has done outfits for singer Pink. “Madonna and J. Lo and girls these days are doing a whole Josephine Baker-type of show on stage with changes every song and people carrying them around. I don’t know where the rock ’n’ roll girls have gone.”

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