Bette Midler: Thirteen Looks And A Load Of Joy

Bette Midler: Thirteen Looks And A Load Of Joy
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Bette Midler’s Life in Looks, From Hocus Pocus to The First Wives Club

Bette Midler’s Life in Looks, From Hocus Pocus to The First Wives Club
October 12, 2022

When you think of Hollywood legends, Bette Midler certainly comes to mind. The singer-actor, who has been gracing Hollywood screens since the 1970s, has enjoyed a successful career filled with many iconic roles (including Hocus Pocus’s Winifred Sanderson, a spooky season classic). So, it was only natural that Vogue would call up the A-lister to reflect on some of her favorite moments. In a new “Life in Looks” video, the star reflects on her best style moments over the years—whether on the red carpet, in films, or on the Broadway stage.

Midler began by reflecting on some of her favorite film costumes. Highlights included 1988’s Beaches, in which she wore “big, bold looks. Some of those costumes were my own,” says Midler. “And some of them I went to a thrift shop in Santa Monica and bought—and they were Cher’s old wardrobe.” The actor also has a soft spot for the witchy wear she sported in 1993’s Hocus Pocus (costumed by Mary E. Vogt). But did you know that she came up with her hair and makeup? “I told my hair and makeup people I wanted to look like the red queen in Alice and Wonderland,” says Midler. “I designed that makeup myself, and I was very proud of it.” She shared that wigs have proven to be especially important for getting into character, no matter the project. “Every time I start a new picture, I start with the hair,” says Midler. “If I don’t have the hair right, I don’t have the character.”

Speaking of getting into character: Midler is also the queen of Halloween. She’s pulled off many epic costumes over the years when she’s hosted parties through her New York Restoration Project, which cleans up parks in underserved New York communities. “I did 25 years of Halloween parties,” says Midler. “I’ve tried everything.” One of her all-time favorite costumes was in 2008 when she attended as a bloodied chef. “I got a black eye the night before the gala, so I had to adjust [my costume],” says Midler. “I sent my husband to the uniform store to get a chef’s outfit. I’m wearing Crocs; the Crocs sell the idea.”

Some of her most memorable ensembles have occurred at the annual Met Gala. In 2016, she attended the Manus x Machina theme in custom Marc Jacobs.  “The fabrics [with images of wheels] spoke to the [machinery] theme, and the headdress spoke to it too,” says Midler. In 2019, she attended the Camp theme with daughter Sophie Von Haselberg, dressed in theatrical Michael Kors garb. “[Michael] wanted to do butterflies [for me] and fire for my daughter,” says Midler. Of the theme that year, Midler said it best: “Camp is an attitude, but it’s also a joyousness in the ridiculousness.”    

Director: Catherine Orchard Director Of Photography: Frances Chen

Editor: Michael Suyeda

Producers: Nicola Pardy, Qieara Lesesne

Associate Directors, Creative Development, Vogue: Alexandra Gurvitch, Billie JD Porter

Associate Producer: Kristen Engelson

Cam Op: Kirsten Potts

Gaffer: Mike Spadafina

Set Designer: Taylor Horne

Set Design Assistant: Javi Scalley

Audio: Sean Paulsen

CCO: Jason Chester

Production Coordinator: Ava Kashar

Production Manager: Kit Fogarty, Senior Director,

Production Management: Jessica Schier

Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds

Supervising Editor: Kameron Key

Post-Production Supervisor: Marco Glinbizzi

Talent Booker: Lauren Mendoza

Director of Content, Production, Vogue: Rahel Gebreyes

Senior Director, Programming, Vogue: Linda Gittleson

Executive Producer: Ruhiya Nuruddin

VP, Digital Video English, Vogue: Thespena Guatieri Filmed at Park Lane Hotel

Birthday Wishes For Joy Behar

In honor of “The View” co-host’s birthday, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, Bette Midler, Chris Meloni, Liam Neeson, Larry David, and Jay Leno share a message for her milestone celebration.

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One thought on “Bette Midler: Thirteen Looks And A Load Of Joy

  1. Holy shit!!!!

    Just when you think she can’t do it… She goes right ahead and looks like a goodness more than she ever did…

    Don… You have to get the info. What does she eat? Is it pimientos on her meals? Essential oils? Yoga and endless breathing lessons? Tantric sex? Or did she go that Robert Johnson crossroad?

    Every decade she makes you fall in love all over again… Just when we think we had finally gotten over her…. Hahaa?


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