Last week, Rod 2.0 previewed The Story of The Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a retrospective which showcases dozens of the beautiful and elegant performance costumes of The Supremes, as well as sketches of the original gowns and archival video. The fabulous Mary Wilson, one of the original members of The Supremes who remained with the group into the 1970s, is interviewed in the current issue of Gay Times (PDF) and dishes supreme fashion and "Dreamgirls."
On comfort and the weight of the gowns:
Once you put them, they weren't as heavy as when you held them. And some were like 35 pounds!
On keeping track of the original gowns:
Quite a few were stolen in different places. Many of them are gown, but many have shown up on eBay, which I've been able to buy back. ... Very shocking. But it's been really great because the fans, in a couple of cases, have helped me buy them back You know, you have to get them immediately, and so the fans jumped in there and helped me out tremendously. ... Once our bus was broken into and gowns went missing there. We had a fire in a nightclub in Mexico, and some were burned there. And THEN some were stolen from our dressing room in San Francisco.
On the Dreamgirls screen adaptation:
I absolutely thought it was wonderful as a movie, and speaking about that time period, but it wasn't the story of The Supremes. ... The gentlemen who wrote the original Broadway play were probably inspired by The Supremes, and I think as much as they could use our storyline, they did, but then they created their own story around that. But I do think in the beginning that it was based on The Supremes. That was unauthorized!
Some Background ...
The Fashion of The Supremes at the Victoria and Albert Museum [R20]