Video: Mary Wilson of The Supremes Chats About the 'Come See About Me' Exhibit

Philadelphia's going to get uber-glam in January! That's when the Supremes costume exhibit lights up the city.

Video: Mary Wilson of The Supremes Chats About the ‘Come See About Me’ Exhibit

Philadelphia’s going to get uber-glam in January! That’s when the Supremes costume exhibit lights up the city.

-PJ Gach

mary wilson and supremes gown

Yesterday I hoofed it to Philadelphia to take a sneak peek at Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection, which will make it’s Philadelphia debut in January at the African American Museum, and to meet Ms. Mary Wilson herself.

In person, Mary Wilson is every inch a gorgeous glamour queen. Wearing a black dress, matching jacket, and turquoise jewelry, this legendary singer can take over a room without saying a word. Sitting across from her in a quiet conference room at the PNC Center (where the preview had taken place) it’s hard to think that this woman has lived through the turbulent ’60s, wild ’70s and beyond. She just looks too damn young to have done that.

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We all know the music of The Supremes. Their songs “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Baby Love,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” and more are ingrained in our hearts and our brains. They’ve become part of the soundtrack of our lives. The images of these gorgeous, willowy and oh-so-fashionable African American women on stage are touchstones of style and beauty. They started out as iconoclasts and ended up being musical, political and style icons.

supremes gowns

When the group first started in Detroit, the country was at a very different place. The racial divide was deep and wide. There was “Black Music” and “Pop.” The incredible talents of these three young women: Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard helped make the line grow smaller and smaller. By 1965 they were world-wide stars. They made 17 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. The group lasted for 18 years, finally breaking up in 1977.  Florence Ballard left in 1967 and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong. After Cindy left, other singers: Lynda LaurenceScherrie Payne, then Susaye Greene all took their turns singing with Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. Throughout all that Mary became “keeper of the gowns.” When a member left the group, she had to turn in her stage wardrobe to Mary, who would then pass it on to the new member. The stage costumes were called “sets” as they came in threes.

The video interview with Mary Wilson and more up next!

mary wilson

Mary Wilson has well over 30 plus costumes and more in her collection. For the exhibit that will be held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (January 25, 2013- June 30, 2013) you’ll see 30 glamorous sets from their amazing career.

Mary explains the exhibit, the inspiration and the contents of it below:

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Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection presented in cooperation with Blair-Murrah Exhibitions is made possible by a PNC Arts Alive grant. The exihibition will be held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia from January 25, 2013 through June 30, 2013. To learn more about Mary Wilson, please visit her site.

PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.

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