There is plenty of contention on who wore the naked first and similarly, who invented the risqué ensemble. Nevertheless Cher‘s feathered Bob Mackie gown from the 1974 Met Gala will always be one of the most iconic examples. The singer was photographed on the arm of the designer walking into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with long jet black hair and a glittering purple eyeshadow.

Nearly 50 years on and the designer has recalled dressing the star in an interview with Town & Country. “She was never intimidated by anything that I ever put on her,” he recalled to the publication. “She was just amazing in that department.” Just 12 months later Cher appeared in the same custom gown on the cover of Time Magazine. 

Cher Bob Mackie
Cher and Bob Mackie (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The American designer and Cher have had a long-standing relationship and for the 1986 Academy Awards, Mackie was tasked with creating another equally incredible — and for the time very scandalous — ensemble. The result saw a sweeping black feather headdress, a sequin halter-neck cut-out crop and an abs-baring column skirt. It was finished with an accompanying black cape which was draped on her arms.

Cher Bob Mackie
Cher is shown in a full-length photo from backstage at the Academy Awards. BPA 2 #1857.

“By that time, she’d been doing a lot of movies, but she was doing very unglamorous movies where she was playing just normal people,” the designer added. “She wanted to wear something fun. She was very comfortable in her own skin.”

Mackie continues to sing Cher’s praises many decades later and added how he saw the “whole world change” in the artist’s presence. “She had the most beautiful figure and skin, and looked different than the average pop star at the time. Most of the girls that were popular were all blonde, and they had beehives and flips, and there was Cher with her long, straight hair,” he said.

“I tell you, within a few months, every young girl in America had long, straight hair with it parted in the middle. The whole world changed.”