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The Designs of Ret Turner

Ret Turner was an Emmy Award-winning costume designer who worked with many of television’s biggest stars. Mr. Turner was introduced to fashion as a boy in his parents’ clothing store. He headed to Hollywood hoping to find work as an actor. Instead, he was steered to the wardrobe department at NBC.                                           

He partnered with two other designers, Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan. They went on to design for “The Sonny and Cher Show” and “The Patti Page Show”, as well as Dolly Parton and Diana Ross.                                  

The three designers worked for Elizabeth Courtney Costumes, which later became Ret Turner Costumes.  In 1986, they dressed Cher in a head-turning black gown and headgear fabricated from 800 rooster feathers which she wore presenting Don Ameche with his Oscar. Don Ameche said he would never have been photographed with his Oscar had it not have been Cher standing next to me.                              

Still, Mr. Turner said he objected to fashion that exposed too much flesh. “All that was shown on Cher was never offensive,” he said. “It was exciting, it was titillating, but it was never offensive.  

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