The Supremes at V&A Museum

The Story of The Supremes
from the Mary Wilson Collection
13 May – 19 October 2008
Supremes exhibition image

The performance costumes of The Supremes, one of the most successful groups of all time, are on display at the V&A this summer. On show are over fifty outfits that chart the changing image of the group, from their dresses in the early days as The Primettes, to the glamorous Hollywood designs worn at the height of their fame.

The display includes costumes worn by the original Supremes - Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, as well as the 70s Supremes. It examines how the group was carefully styled by Berry Gordy and his Motown associates to appeal to the widest possible audience.

The Supremes recorded 12 US No.1 hits between 1964 and 1969, including an unprecedented five consecutive chart toppers. Set against the backdrop of the meteoric rise of Motown Records and of the American civil rights movement, the exhibition explores the inspirational role The Supremes played in changing racial perceptions, and their influence on today’s performers.

Based on the collection of Mary Wilson, the display features the group’s music, album covers and archive performance footage as well as new video interviews with Wilson and Maxine Powell, Motown’s in-house Artist Development Director.

This is a V&A exhibition in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum . Click on the links below for information, resources, events and activities based around the exhibition.

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