It's official. Motownphilly is happening this January. The Supremes are coming to Philly! Well, at least their fabulous dresses are!
I had the pleasure of being invited to a preview of a new exhibition that's adding some extra sparkle and style to Philly from January 25-June 30, 2013. It's called Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection.
This exhibit will showcase the trailblazing trends of The Supremes through the eyes and wardrobe of Mary Wilson, The Supremes mainstay. It's been 50 years of great music and The African American Museum in Philadelphia will highlight 30 glamorous gowns.
At the preview, Ms. Wilson told stories of gorgeous gowns and an amazing journey. She laughed about how in the beginnings of The Supremes career they were called the "No Hits Supremes." A title that in present day seems a little unbelievable due to their record breaking success and undeniable relevance to music.
There was a small gathering of people sitting attentively downstairs in the African American Museum on this momentous night. But as I watched Ms. Wilson being interviewed by Philly 360's own Creative Ambassador/Insider Rakia Reynolds
, I could not help but think of some of the female groups that came after The Supremes. I thought of the struggles that Ms. Wilson spoke of in regards to being three young black women touring the world. Struggles that The Supremes overcame so that En Vogue and Destiny's Child wouldn't have to. I thought of the day Beyonce revealed her pregnant belly to the world on stage and how Mary Wilson spoke of a green dress that hung on stage beside her with obvious room for a pregnant belly. Ms. Wilson spoke of how it was unheard of in those days to perform pregnant, and how it was expected for a female performer to disappear during her pregnancy and not to come back until she was back to her pre-pregnancy body, but not Mary.
She also made us laugh about how former Supremes members had to leave their dresses at the door when they left the group, which caused Mary to have some extra dresses on hand for the exhibition. So many great stories to accompany these dresses and there will also be rarely seen video footage, gold records, album covers, historic photographs, contemporary magazine and news articles that will complete your sense of nostalgia as we take a ride on this glamorous, but very real journey of true legends.
This exhibition will cover The Supremes historic imprint not only on music, but also women's empowerment and history, African American history and culture, American pop culture of 60s and 70s, and of course, fashion.
It's a really cool way to discover your history! And speaking of history, did you know that Philly legends Gamble & Huff
also wrote for The Supremes? Gotta love those Philly connections.
So, make sure you come see about this exhibition come January!