Baby Love: The Supremes
I’m a big fan of sixties girl bands and Northern Soul, so I was quite looking forward to seeing the V&A Museum’s latest exhibition, The Story of The Supremes. Despite the fact the museum has been criticised for “dumbing down” its exhibitions with populist inclusions like the Kylie retrospective, I was excited by the prospect of seeing a collection of the group’s iconic costumes and learning a bit more about the history of Motown.
So when I headed over to the museum on Sunday and reached the first showcase in the exhibition, it’s fair to say I was surprised and disappointed when blaring techno music started playing from the fashion show next door. It basically drowned out The Supremes and various video exhibits featuring recorded speeches by Martin Luther King. Not exactly what I was expecting for the opening weekend of a music-led exhibition, which documents the rise of African American music in sixties America (ie. Motown actually being HEARD by the predominant mainstream white audience).
Initial disappointment aside, the exhibition was, of course, a hit, with a fantastic line-up of some of The Supremes’ most spectacular glittery, bugle-bead encrusted costumes. I particularly loved their earlier creations like the fitted shantung silk shifts and the tiered ruffled chiffon dresses. These frocks were designed to MOVE and accentuate their trademark shimmies and shakes.
Some other costume highlights:
The Story of the Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection
(until October 19)
The V&A Museum
London SW7 2RL
Tel. 020 7942 2966