Skip to main content
Publish date:

Great Outfits in Fashion History: Diana Ross Wearing Bob Mackie to the CFDA Awards

In honor of the event coming back IRL next week.
Author:
Diana Ross Bob Mackie  The 20th Annual CFDA American Fashion Awards at Avery Fisher Hall

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

The CFDA Awards are coming back IRL in a week, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to remember one of the all-time great looks to walk the red carpet of the biggest award show in fashion — we're talking, of course, about Diana Ross sparkling (and coordinated) in custom Bob Mackie

Robin Givhan wrote in the Washington Post at the time that "the presentation should have been called the Miss Diana Ross show," as she "arrived in a cloud of purple sequins, marabou and hair to present a special award to designer Bob Mackie, who has created so many of her costumes." (He also dressed Sandra Bernhard, the show's host, that evening, according to Givhan's reporting.) It was Bob Mackie at his best: the sparkle courtesy of all-over sequins, the electric use of color, the oversized stylized floral accents, the oversized furry coat to top it all off, cooly worn off the shoulder with a shrug. 

Recommended Articles

Of course, Ross — for whom Mackie frequently created — brought the look to life with her infectious energy, which still comes across in the images from that night, over two decades later. She was so committed to it, she even had some purple streaks in her hair to match the gown and jacket.

Feeling inspired? Shop some bold purple separates inspired by Ross' Bob Mackie in the gallery, below.

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.