0

Your Basket

Photo Essay: 'Supreme Glamour'

Posted on 13 Aug 2019

Discover Mary Wilson’s unparalleled collection of Supremes outfits.

The Supremes, one of Motown’s most successful acts, have always been synonymous with glamorous, elegant co-ordinated costumes. Supreme Glamour, the new book by founding member Mary Wilson, marries fashion and biography charting the glittering story of the original pop fashionistas and includes a foreword by Whoopi Goldberg.

The book is packed with personal anecdotes and reflections from Mary herself, all of which are accompanied by rare archive photography and ephemera, much taken from Mary’s personal collection.

The book is packed with personal anecdotes and reflections from Mary herself, all of which are accompanied by rare archive photography and ephemera, much taken from Mary’s personal collection. Take a look at the iconic gowns in our photo essay. Image: Courtesy Mary Wilson Collection

Cindy, Diane, and Mary wear the Green Swirls gowns in 1968 for a promotional photo session for the television special T.C.B. Image Courtesy Mary Wilson Collection

Green Swirls” 1968, designer: Michael Travis Material: Screen-printed foulard gown and screen-printed chiffon cape Embellishments: Beaded using various hues of green and citrine beads, with pink bugle beads and crystal rose montees Notes: Altered in 1976. The original neck scarves were removed and beaded shoulder fringes and wrist cuffs were added. Originally worn by: Diane, Mary, Cindy (1968-70) Additionally worn by: Mary, Jean, Lynda (1972-73) Notable appearances: T.C.B. (December 9, 1968, NBC), performed “Stop! In The Name Of Love” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

“The Turquoise Freeze” (detail) 1968, designer: Michael Travis Material: Mushroom pleated silk satin gown, designed to look like a two-piece. The sides of the gown are weighted down by turquoise multi-faceted beads. Embellishments: The elaborate collar, heavily influenced by Hollywood, is beaded with satin and silver bugle beads, crystal rose montees, and white and turquoise seed beads. Originally worn by: Diane, Mary, Cindy (1968) Notable appearances: The Ed Sullivan Show (May 5, 1969), performed a medley of Irving Berlin songs. Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

Cindy, Mary, and Diane perform at a live performance in 1968. Image: Courtesy Mary Wilson Collection

“LaVetta Delight” 1968, designer: LaVetta of Beverly Hills Material: Coats: moiré taffeta; Gowns: wool crepe with a sunburst pleated skirt Embellishments: The skirts are decorated with green broken lined bugle beads along the pleating. The halter-neck bodice and coat lapels are beaded with various sizes of emeralds and silver lined seed beads. Rhinestone buttons fasten the coats. Notes: These dresses were the first couture gowns made for The Supremes. The original pea-green beaded V-neck gowns that matched the coats are missing. Originally worn by: Diane, Mary, Cindy (1968-69) Additionally worn by: Mary, Cindy, Scherrie (1973-74). Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

“Goldie” 1968, Bought from a store on Hollywood Boulevard Material: Wool Embellishments: Various sizes of pearls, amber-coloured glass stones, gold trim, and white sequins Notes: A personal dress belonging to Mary Wilson, who wore it for press conferences and promotional tours. Originally worn by: Mary (1968) Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

“Black Butterfly” (close-up) 1969, designer: Bob Mackie Material: Viscose/rayon velvet, gilt thread Embellishments: Accented with pearls, teardrop fringe, multi-faceted jewels, and glass pearls Notes: Worn for Diane’s last performance with The Supremes on January 14, 1970. Originally worn by: Diane, Mary, Cindy (1969-70) Additionally worn by: Mary, Cindy, Jean (1970); Mary, Jean, Lynda (1972-73); Mary, Scherrie, Susaye (1976-77) Notable appearances: G.I.T. on Broadway (November 12, 1969, NBC), performed “Opening Medley” with The Temptations; The Mike Douglas Show (1976), performed “I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking” and “Don’t Let My Teardrops Bother You”/ Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

“White Rain” (detail + full gown) 1971, designer: Michael Nicola Material: White satin Embellishments: Bugle beads, flat white sequins, silver seed beads, and rose montees Notes: Michael Nicola referred to these gowns as “White Rain” in his sketches. Originally, these sequined gowns had sleeves with long beaded fringes, but the sleeves were removed because the beads used to get tangled and fall off. Mary recalls: “Personally, I loved the sleeves with all the beads flying around. They reminded me of shooting stars!” Originally worn by: Mary, Cindy, Jean (1971-72) Additionally worn by: Mary, Jean, Lynda (1972-73); Mary, Scherrie, Susaye (1976-77) Notable appearances: The Bob Hope Special (May 12, 1973), performed “Bad Weather”. Image: “White Rain” (detail + full gown) 1971, designer: Michael Nicola Material: White satin Embellishments: Bugle beads, flat white sequins, silver seed beads, and rose montees Notes: Michael Nicola referred to these gowns as “White Rain” in his sketches. Originally, these sequined gowns had sleeves with long beaded fringes, but the sleeves were removed because the beads used to get tangled and fall off. Mary recalls: “Personally, I loved the sleeves with all the beads flying around. They reminded me of shooting stars!” Originally worn by: Mary, Cindy, Jean (1971-72) Additionally worn by: Mary, Jean, Lynda (1972-73); Mary, Scherrie, Susaye (1976-77) Notable appearances: The Bob Hope Special (May 12, 1973), performed “Bad Weather”

“White Rain” (detail + full gown) 1971, designer: Michael Nicola Material: White satin Embellishments: Bugle beads, flat white sequins, silver seed beads, and rose montees Notes: Michael Nicola referred to these gowns as “White Rain” in his sketches. Originally, these sequined gowns had sleeves with long beaded fringes, but the sleeves were removed because the beads used to get tangled and fall off. Mary recalls: “Personally, I loved the sleeves with all the beads flying around. They reminded me of shooting stars!” Originally worn by: Mary, Cindy, Jean (1971-72) Additionally worn by: Mary, Jean, Lynda (1972-73); Mary, Scherrie, Susaye (1976-77) Notable appearances: The Bob Hope Special (May 12, 1973), performed “Bad Weather”. Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles. Image: From the Mary Wilson Collection, photographed by Dan Gottesman at the GRAMMY Museum®, Los Angeles

“We were the first pop group to have our own television special, ¬T.C.B.¸ on NBC in 1968. Wearing the Michael Travis ‘Butterfly’ gowns we performed in front of a live audience on a very high Plexiglas stage with a large orchestra behind us.” Image: Courtesy Mary Wilson Collection

The Supremes perform “I’m Losing You” as part of a medley of hits with The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan Show in November 1967. “Being on Ed’s show with our ‘brothers’ The Temptations was a ‘dream come true’ for us.” Image: Courtesy Mary Wilson Collection

Motown

The Sound of Young America Adam White
£28.00