The V&A goes 60s soul from next month with its Story of The Supremes exhibition, showing the performance costumes of the band from the Mary Wilson collection.
It runs from 13th May to 19th October, with over 50 outfits on display, charting the changing image of the group from their dresses in the early days (when they were known as The Primettes) to the glamorous Hollywood designs they wore at the height of their fame. The exhibition will also explore the inspirational role The Supremes played in changing racial perceptions and their influence on today’s performers.
The costumes will cover all periods of the band, including several costumes designed by Hollywood designer Bob Mackie (known as the “Sultan of Sequins”), costumes designed for TV appearances, the gold, bronze and yellow ‘Butterfly’ gowns worn on the cover of the 1969 album Cream of the Crop will be displayed as will the black velvet gowns encrusted with rhinestones, pearls and gold brocade designed by Mackie and worn for Diana Ross’ 1970 farewell performance with the group.
There will be original photographs, footage of television appearances, a reconstruction of the mixing desk from the famous ‘Recording Studio A’ at Motown headquarters and a section covering the band’s influence today, as well as a chance to meet Mary herself on the opening day.