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  1. #1

    Recycled Wardrobe

    Just an odd thought:

    Were there any instances in the DMF/DMC years that they had a high profile TV appearance and later wore the same gowns on another TV show?

    I know this happened quite often in the 70's, but can't really think of an instance in the 60's where they, for example, wore a gown on Sullivan then later on Hollywood Palace.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Just an odd thought:

    Were there any instances in the DMF/DMC years that they had a high profile TV appearance and later wore the same gowns on another TV show?

    I know this happened quite often in the 70's, but can't really think of an instance in the 60's where they, for example, wore a gown on Sullivan then later on Hollywood Palace.
    The plain white gowns worn on Hullabaloo for “Come See About Me” were worn again on the Steve Allen Show, the Hollywood Palace for “Stop! In The Name of Love,” and Ready Steady Go.

    The short red fringe dresses worn for “Come See About Me” on Shindig were worn again on Ready Steady Go.

    The red sequin gowns worn on the Hollywood Palace in 1966 for “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and “Somewhere” were worn again for Ice Capades ‘67 and a medley for the Rodgers & Hart Today special.

    The light blue disc sequin gowns for “You Can’t Hurry Love” on Ed Sullivan were worn again for “Manhattan” and “Blue Moon” on Rodgers & Hart Today special and a hits medley on Mike Douglas.

    The white gowns with the short fur cuff jackets were worn the Hollywood Palace for “What Now My Love” and reworn on the Rodgers & Hart Today special for “Mountain Greenery.”

    The black & white sequin swirl gowns worn on Ed Sullivan for “Always” would have been recycled for TCB’s “I’m The Greatest Star” has it not been cut.

    The gold pleated gowns worn for the closing of GIT were worn again for Diana’s last Ed Sullivan appearance.

  3. #3
    Weren't the plain white Steve Allen gowns also used with the dark shell overlay (see rear of More Hits and I Hear A Symphony cover) and I think the In and Out Of Love gowns were a redesign of the same gown from a earlier Sullivan appearance with Flo....maybe Itching?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    Weren't the plain white Steve Allen gowns also used with the dark shell overlay (see rear of More Hits and I Hear A Symphony cover) and I think the In and Out Of Love gowns were a redesign of the same gown from a earlier Sullivan appearance with Flo....maybe Itching?
    Those were all different gowns. The gowns pictured on the back cover of More Hits were blue with a black lace top. The white gowns for “In And Out Of Love” were designed by LaVetta King in 1967 and different from the ones worn for “My World Is Empty Without You.”

  5. #5
    Also the gold beaded gowns worn on the Hollywood Palace in 69 were worn again months later on Ed Sullivan

  6. #6
    Also the chandelier gowns they worn on the Tennessee Ford Special, Diana wore on TCB. Also On that same special, Cindy wore that white chiffon gown the group wore on Crusade 68.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    Also the chandelier gowns they worn on the Tennessee Ford Special, Diana wore on TCB. Also On that same special, Cindy wore that white chiffon gown the group wore on Crusade 68.
    The white chiffon gown worn on Crusade 68 was different from the gown worn in the rehearsal footage for the Tennessee Ernie Ford special. Cindy was wearing a white beaded gown that I've only seen one black & white photograph of Diana, Mary & Flo wearing. It could be easily mistaken for the yellow lace gowns worn for "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart" on Ed Sullivan at first glance.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    The white chiffon gown worn on Crusade 68 was different from the gown worn in the rehearsal footage for the Tennessee Ernie Ford special. Cindy was wearing a white beaded gown that I've only seen one black & white photograph of Diana, Mary & Flo wearing. It could be easily mistaken for the yellow lace gowns worn for "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart" on Ed Sullivan at first glance.
    I can’t tell if it’s beaded or not but here is that opening to the show (not the best quality)

  9. #9
    The pantsuits they were on ITS A MOD MOD WORLD were also worn on the Mike Douglas show.

    The dresses they wore for the old songs medley on the Tennessee Ernie Ford special were also worn at the end of the Irving Berlin tribute Ed Sullivan show.
    Last edited by reese; 02-04-2019 at 10:17 AM.

  10. #10
    it's frankly a bit of a myth that the Supremes with Diana only wore outfits once and were forever getting new, glamorous outfits. they reused plenty of outfits across performances. and some of their most iconic dresses had limited tv exposure. they did sometimes debut a new outfit on a show but not always. and they would often have a photo shoot session as new sets of gowns arrived.

    The white beaded gowns with the pearl and gold diagonal stripes (used on cover of L&F) were not used on tv. but they photo shoot images have been widely used

    the multicolor halters from TN Ernie Ford special were briefly shown on the tv program but the photo shoot is among the most famous of the DRATS era.

    then there are dresses which appear for a hot min and disappear - the pink chiffon with beaded cuffs that DMF wore in the desert pics just before flo left.

    in the 70s, the girls had a lot of outfits. the lineup with the most outfits is DMF. i've counted roughly 65 or so outfits from the very early days until Flo's departure. about 28 or so from the DRATS period. 18 from JMC and 4 from MJL. and 20 from the scherrie years.

    I think one issue with the 70s groups is that they, for whatever reason, tended to use the DRATS gowns a lot on tv. they had a lot of outfits made especially for Jean and the girls. and they did use them often in appearances. but they did seem to reuse DRATS stuff a lot on tv

  11. #11
    I’m the case of JMC wearing DRATS gowns you have to remember the a good portion of gowns worn were less than a year old so it would make sense to use them

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    it's frankly a bit of a myth that the Supremes with Diana only wore outfits once and were forever getting new, glamorous outfits. they reused plenty of outfits across performances. and some of their most iconic dresses had limited tv exposure. they did sometimes debut a new outfit on a show but not always. and they would often have a photo shoot session as new sets of gowns arrived.

    The white beaded gowns with the pearl and gold diagonal stripes (used on cover of L&F) were not used on tv. but they photo shoot images have been widely used

    the multicolor halters from TN Ernie Ford special were briefly shown on the tv program but the photo shoot is among the most famous of the DRATS era.

    then there are dresses which appear for a hot min and disappear - the pink chiffon with beaded cuffs that DMF wore in the desert pics just before flo left.

    in the 70s, the girls had a lot of outfits. the lineup with the most outfits is DMF. i've counted roughly 65 or so outfits from the very early days until Flo's departure. about 28 or so from the DRATS period. 18 from JMC and 4 from MJL. and 20 from the scherrie years.

    I think one issue with the 70s groups is that they, for whatever reason, tended to use the DRATS gowns a lot on tv. they had a lot of outfits made especially for Jean and the girls. and they did use them often in appearances. but they did seem to reuse DRATS stuff a lot on tv
    For the DRATS I count 32 outfits

  13. #13
    a lot of the Sullivan outfits were from his production company costume dept. like the (hideous lol) mauve pantsuits from I'm Living In Shame, the white gowns with the gold chains from Funny Girl, the production costumes from Mille/rose/mame, Fats waller and Thou Swell. I'm not counting those since they weren't used again, nor owned by the Sups.

    what i have is:
    1. rainbow halters from TN Ernie
    2. beige chandelier gowns
    3. the breakaway set from TN Ernie
    4 white chiffon with daisies - Cancer PSA
    5 white chiffon gowns from In and out of Love
    6 the flower sequin gowns - appear briefly in the rehearsal video of TN Ernie and then used by diana solo in the pics for the surrender exp edition booklet
    7 pearl dress with the keyhole in bodice
    8 pale green gown w large green gemstones, w matching coat
    9 mystery white and green sequin gown in Mary's exhibit - displayed with the green coats above
    10 pink caftan with rainbow sleeves
    11 dark brown sheath with pinstripes - funny girl pics
    12 tight silver gown with blue gemstones
    13 black bugle bead - Forever came today
    14 pale blue jeweled gown - Irving Berlin medley
    15 black and white gown - Always
    16 green swirl TCB gowns
    17 light blue chiffon with mirrored top
    18 bronze and silver - HOllywood palace
    19 butterfly TCB gowns
    20 red, orange and pink TCB pantsuits
    21 gold dresses - right on lp cover
    22 pink GIT feather gowns
    23 gold dolman sleeved GIT
    24 black velvet Farewell
    25 GIT indian maiden
    26 silver pantsuits - No matter what sign
    27 orange pantsuits - hollywood palace
    28 pink pearl and rhinestone - Queen mother gown

  14. #14
    here's the list for when Flo was in group:

    1. dark dresses from original Meet Sups lp
    2. plaid dresses Supremes quartet picture
    3. green long sleeve dresses - WDOLG expanded edition
    4. floral apollo dresses
    5. 2-tone dresses also worn at apollo - during finale
    6. light colored dress in Meet Sup exp edition
    7. black and white polka dot dresses
    8. light colored dress with jacket - Your Heart Belongs pic sleeve
    9. light blue fringe dresses from Caravan of Stars
    10. black floor length - back of More Hits
    11. black sleeveless dress on WDOLG pic sleeve
    12. WDOLG lp dresses - also used on Country Western. is this the same as the pic sleeve dress? just colorized green?
    13. sequin halter top and stretch pants
    14. red fringe Shake gowns
    15. ice blue with chiffon skirt
    16. pink spaghetti strap - london park pics
    17. red chiffon gown with red wrap
    18. black dresses with tie-up jacket - motown revue in london
    19. pink full-length gowns - To Tell The Truth
    20. light pink TAMI dresses
    21. yellow polka dot - Shindig Stop In Name of Love
    22. red velvet floor-length
    23. light blue with black lace overlay
    24. light blue Ed sullivan premier dresses
    25. dark green 3-tier dresses
    26. pink 3 tier gowns - each tier sort of flares out. used at apollo
    27. white floor length gown - Stop on hollywood palace
    28. bit of liverpool suits
    29. yellow and white lace up gowns - you're nobody on Hullabaloo
    30. orange and red floral dresses - hullaballoo
    31. copa daisy gowns
    32. pink floor length with bow - Dean martin mother dear
    33. white lace Surfer Boy dress
    34. white gowns with beaded stripe pattern - supposedly used at Copa premier but also in photo shoots for Euro pic sleeves
    35. pink lace My World Is Empty
    36. yellow chiffon Love Is Like an Itchin
    37. emerald green with gold loops
    38. red hawaiian floral gowns
    39. yellow chiffon with rose on bodice
    40. lavender floral gown - pic of Flo testing dress on Hullaballoo
    41. black and white hullaballoo gowns
    42. black and white dean martin gowns
    43. black and white Andrew Sisters medley gowns
    44. knit sweaters with skits and boots - Michigan Fair
    45. pink satin with tulle, ruffly bottom
    46. chartreuse Hullaballoo I Hear A Symphony
    47. floral sleeveless gown that appears in a few pics from 66 - don't know much else
    48. dark "Mike Douglas" gown from the dvd collection
    49. light blue with "guitar strap" used in Diana pic on back of Reflections
    50. short chiffon spaghetti strap gown from Mike Douglas pic
    51. white chiffon "Sing Motown" lp cover
    52. lavender chiffon - pics in L&F set
    53. pink My Fav Things gowns
    54. red sequin Rodgers & Hart
    55. silver You Can't Hurry love
    56. black patterned sequin gowns from Orient video
    57. blue sequin - Andy Williams
    58. white satin with jackets - Rodgers & Hart
    59. white sequin with pearl and gold stripes
    60. gold Sing HDH gowns
    61. Las Vegas tuxes - i've never seen but this is supposedly what they were wearing when Flo stuck out her tummy on "Fat is where it's at"
    62. dolman sleeved diamond pattern outfit - there are some pics of them wearing these at Sept 66 Flamingo
    63. pale blue mandarin jackets - used in intro to Andy Williams and in A Go Go exp edition booklet
    64. pale blue chiffon dresses with jacket
    65. yellow chiffon The Happening
    66. fuscia chiffon with jeweled cuffs - desert photo shoot
    67. gold and satin gowns - i think DMF wore on the Ice Capades and then DMC used a bit
    68. pink satin and beaded gowns

  15. #15
    and now the Jean gowns lololol

    1. red pantsuits - ed sullivan
    2. bronze Tom Jones pantsuits
    3. green fringe pantsuits
    4. pink Glen Campbell pantsuits
    5. dresses with robe wrap - in rehearsal pics for Glen
    6. white sequin pantsuits
    7. brown sequin pantsuits with feather coats
    8. purple Flip Wilson pantsuits
    9. blue short-shorts overalls
    10. white Central Park mini dresses
    11. velvet coats used by MCJ in photo shoot
    12. lavender sequin gowns
    13. black pants and jackets from Touch
    14. red hexagon Touch gowns
    15. pink gowns - each a slightly different shade in pic with designer Rosen and Chadwick. the guy sort of looks like Eddie Kendricks lol
    16. yellow long sleeve dress
    17. red satin halter with blue hot pants
    18. white bugle bead gown
    19. floral tan dress with feather jacket - Your Wonderful Sweet Sweet Love
    20. red floral Coconut Grove gowns
    21. pink red and blue chiffon Kate Smith gowns
    22. maroon Lean On Me dresses

  16. #16
    and finally the Scherrie gowns lolol

    1. red mini dress with gold sequin fringe - Sonny and Cher debut
    2. green chiffon with snake-pattern bodice
    3. red sequin wraps
    4. white, bronze and white/bronze gowns
    5. bronze, black and maroon velvet dresses - with fans, hats. Worn on Sammy
    6. dream sequence costumes
    7. pink one-shoulder gowns with pants
    8. black and silver sequin robes
    9. pale blue sequin gowns with full skirt
    10. yellow, orange and white He's My Man Tonight show
    11. zebra gown - this is a one-shoulder caftan that was worn over (and removable) from a dark sequin gown
    12. red outfits worn on Merv doing You Are Heart - not sure if these are personal outfits or official group outfits. they're different from the red outfits worn on Soul Train which were mary's personal items
    13. brown stripe gowns - the colors of stripes vary. mary's were blues and purples, Scherries were oranges and Susaye's were hot pinks and purples. Worn on soul train for Come Into life
    14. orange gowns with wraps - Soul train
    15. blue fringe - udo live
    16. all-in-one dress - Vegas. i've been told its red
    17. satin and sequin tuxes
    18. pink chiffon - in mary's exhibit and labeled Sullivan's Delight. but not from the 60s
    19. pink caftans - also in mary's exhibit. supposedly work in Vegas for their opening number. i believe it was worn over the blue fringe gown and was removable.
    20. rumor has it another set was in development when group broke up - jersey material, grey and black and white.

  17. #17
    In all the Supremes wore over 165 sets of dresses and gowns. I have seen photos of the infamous 1967 Flamingo tuxedos. Rather odd looking compared to what they were wearing at the time. There are a few other gowns that I have only seen one photograph of or no photos at all. One set Mary has used in her exhibit that I haven’t seen a photo of them wearing, but inside they are labeled by their names - “Diane,” “Mary” and Cindy.” Mary said they wore them, but from their appearance they don’t seem have been worn much. They’re in great condition.

  18. #18
    there was another Flamingo outfit - Randy put it in his first Diana book. sort of a poncho-ish top. kind of a diamond pattern. I've since seen a couple of photos from the engagement in a magazine or newspaper with the outfits. i believe the article stated they were steel-blue.

    i was gonna bud them "Gunmetal Dreams a la blueberries" lololololol I'm sure that's the "official" garment name

    There's also that mysterious pic of 3 yellow gowns on mannequins. Gowns have huge ugly flowers all over them. supposedly DRATS era but who knows.

    and i'm sure there are many gowns we haven't seen yet. maybe some more early homemade ones that didn't get photographed much. Seems like some outfits were worn about once and then ditched. That seems crazy - that they'd spend money and time on designing, fitting and debuting an outfit only to discard it. Like the pantsuits in TCB, the red floral MJL gowns at Coconut Grove.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i was gonna bud them "Gunmetal Dreams a la blueberries" lololololol I'm sure that's the "official" garment name
    Don't you know that's their official name! The ladies named everything they wore.
    Diana: "I want to wear the Gunmental Dreams a la Blueberries" tonight.
    Florence: "Oh no, Diane. I think we should wear the Wheat Barley's"
    Mary: "I agree with Flo. The Wheat Barley's it is!"


    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    There's also that mysterious pic of 3 yellow gowns on mannequins. Gowns have huge ugly flowers all over them. supposedly DRATS era but who knows.
    I haven't come across a photo of them wearing these although a few people have said they have seen a photo of them wearing them. Mary told me they were designed by James Galanos and that Diana loved them, but she and Cindy weren't fond of them so they didn't wear them for long. They are with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington DC. The labels inside say Diana, Mary and Cindy.

  20. #20
    I can only speak from my experience that sometimes concept to execution are two different things. What might have looked good on paper may not have resonated well on stage or screen. I'd bet over the years there were several sets that were worn once then for whatever reason, ditched.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I can only speak from my experience that sometimes concept to execution are two different things. What might have looked good on paper may not have resonated well on stage or screen. I'd bet over the years there were several sets that were worn once then for whatever reason, ditched.
    There's one set of gowns from the DMF era that I've only seen one black & white photo of them wearing. When I saw what the gowns actually looked like in color, I can understand why it wasn't worn very much. Very bright colors of blue, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and green. The bright colors might have served well lit up on a stage, but it isn't a very Supreme-like gown.

  22. #22
    was this the pic? I've only ever seen these gowns in this one pic and have wondered what they looked like

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  23. #23
    and here are the 2 pics of so of the "gunmetal a la blueberry" gowns lolol

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    and yeah, i can understand that the transition from designer concept to onstage could be a bit of trial and error. I'm sure the designers had dress maker dummies of each girl. and it's not like the girls were frugal - in person or with the group. why not just test and explore with dresses

    Plus who knows what sort of abuse these gowns went through. perspiration stains, a hem gets caught on something and tears, spills and stains. with all of the touring and constant performances, i'm sure they went through a lot. so after a few months, they were probably ready for the garbage lol

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    was this the pic? I've only ever seen these gowns in this one pic and have wondered what they looked like

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    Yes those are the ones. They are a bright color floral print. Not very appealing or Supreme-like compared to the other gowns of that time. It's the odd color mixture that throws it off. Oranges next to greens, pinks and blues isn't very pleasing to the eye. It makes me wonder why they bought them to begin with. Had they been a two or three color scheme it would have been more appealing.

    The designer made gowns from 1967 to 1977 tend be the ones in rougher shape. This had to do with how much they were worn and the alternations they went through. You also have to add in the material and fabrics. When you take beads and apply them to silks overtime silk is not going to hold up well due to the longevity of silk as well as the weight and stress of the beads. One example are the green fringe jumpsuits from 1970. They're very sheer and got worn a lot. By 1977, when Scherrie and Susaye were in the group, those jumpsuits were brought back out to be worn, but there had been some tearing around the shoulder due to the weight of the fringe, rhinestones, and beads. Two of those jumpsuits today currently are torn/worn around the shoulders and it would be very expensive to restore. One of those jumpsuits is in better condition, but very fragile and doesn't get displayed as much because of it. Compare those to the red floral print gowns DMF wore on the Red Skelton Show in 1965. They were worn a lot, but not extensively as the later designer made gowns; however they are in good shape. Some of the gowns were wool with sequins sown on and have held up. I would say most pre-1968 gowns are in better shape than the later ones.

  25. #25
    very cool! thanks for sharing. had always wondered what these looked like

    These also might have been when they were still buying off the rack at Saks and other retailers. just as you said, the fabrics they might have used (even at a high-end store) would be sturdier and hold up to wear and tear better. Some of the early designer outfits (like what DMF wore in Rodgers & Hart Today) were custom but perhaps they were not quite as extreme as the green fringe and other later designer gowns. As the gowns became more sensational, the goal wasn't for longevity.

    I've wondered how some of the gowns lost in the MX fire would look today. like the gold dolman sleeves from GIT. the skirts were so full that i can image they became filthy from dragging on stages and hallways. plus the pleating in the sleeves would have been crazy.

  26. #26
    WOW, you guys are amazing. How would these gowns be cleaned? I've heard that they would be sprayed with vodka for sweat and odour. DR uses her gowns over and over, does she just have that many of the same gown, when she is performing?

  27. #27
    haha - nothing like a bored obsessed Supremes fan with time on his hands at the office and access to Excel I don't have these committed to memory or anything. just typed them up as i was curious and bored lolol

    as for cleaning, that would have been a wildly arduous and expensive task. especially with some of the much more "couture" outfits from DRATS and 70s. I'd assume that much of the Flo era ones wouldn't be too crazy to clean since many came from Saks and other high-end department stores. i'm sure they would have to be professionally laundered or dry cleaned. but those should have been somewhat typical

    the later outfits could have been very problematic. sequins, fringe and bugle beads would be a nightmare to deal with, in terms of care. and these are often heavy, long-sleeved, high-collared outfits. Stick a big old wig on your head and then perform/dance/sing for an hour under stage lighting and odds are the gown would be soaked with sweat. sure you can hang it up and let it dry out but after a while that's gonna be funky! One fan has suggested that they had linings or almost like slips that they could wear under the gown. those might be removable (perhaps by the designer - maybe careful separated from the outfit and a new lining put in/cleaned).

    And what it one was damaged? a torn cuff or underarm or hem. or like on Jean's gold dress on Right On - a thread breaks and now there's a little patch of beading gone. those would have to be returned to the designer or a tailor for repairs.

  28. #28
    I can only tell you what I do with my gowns. Granted, these aren't $3000 tailored pieces by costume designers, but beaded and sequined none the less.

    There are products that you can use to spot clean just a certain area. I have also filled a bathtub with luke warm water and have let them simply soak. To be honest, I've even thrown some right in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Of course I'm not suggesting you bring your TCB swirl dress to the laundry mat, but 99% of the time, especially if washed alone, they'll come out fine.

    The biggest challenge for me was trying to get that smoke smell out of things. It's really no longer an issue now that nightclubs don't allow it, but I'd simply just hang things outside, especially in the winter, and they'd come out pretty fresh.

    Of course proper storage is key.
    Last edited by marybrewster; 02-06-2019 at 04:55 PM.

  29. #29
    ^^^ loving the idea of being at the washateria with that rolling metal laundry basket full of Bob Mackie sequins and gowns, Diana and mary sitting on the pre-formed plastic chairs with their hair in rollers. Flo would still have on her hair wrap from the night before lolol

  30. #30
    i remember reading in a book where Mrs Powell would buy up a zillion white spike heels for each girl and then dye to match the designer gowns. or they'd pick a couple basic heels like black, silver, gold and then have multiple pairs for each girl.

    same with costume jewelry. white, pink, gold, etc. basic colors and then mix and match with various costumes

  31. #31
    Didn't they basically wear the same green colored gowns (the ones they wore for the cover of EBONY in '65) during the 1964-65 period at times???

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    haha - nothing like a bored obsessed Supremes fan with time on his hands at the office and access to Excel I don't have these committed to memory or anything. just typed them up as i was curious and bored lolol

    as for cleaning, that would have been a wildly arduous and expensive task. especially with some of the much more "couture" outfits from DRATS and 70s. I'd assume that much of the Flo era ones wouldn't be too crazy to clean since many came from Saks and other high-end department stores. i'm sure they would have to be professionally laundered or dry cleaned. but those should have been somewhat typical

    the later outfits could have been very problematic. sequins, fringe and bugle beads would be a nightmare to deal with, in terms of care. and these are often heavy, long-sleeved, high-collared outfits. Stick a big old wig on your head and then perform/dance/sing for an hour under stage lighting and odds are the gown would be soaked with sweat. sure you can hang it up and let it dry out but after a while that's gonna be funky! One fan has suggested that they had linings or almost like slips that they could wear under the gown. those might be removable (perhaps by the designer - maybe careful separated from the outfit and a new lining put in/cleaned).

    And what it one was damaged? a torn cuff or underarm or hem. or like on Jean's gold dress on Right On - a thread breaks and now there's a little patch of beading gone. those would have to be returned to the designer or a tailor for repairs.
    I can tell from experience of actually cleaning a Supremes gown (well...jumpsuit) that it's a long process. The jumpsuit had been on display for several months so naturally it is going to collect dust. It was pretty intensive of going inch by inch over every part of the gown vacuuming the dust off using a special fabric covering so no beads or sequins would come loose or get sucked up.

    A lot of the designer made gowns that were worn a lot certainly took a beating and you can tell when you see them up close. Plastic sequins are losing their color (chipped or flaked), lots of missing beads, rhinestones, sequins, etc. For instance, the green swirl gowns from TCB are fragile and lost a lot of beads. One gown is in fair enough condition to be displayed and a second that is okay and has been displayed, but certainly shouldn't be constantly used. The third gown is in bad shape with major tearing at the bottom due to the fragility of silk lining and weight of the beads, but thankfully was recently stabilized with a new lining underneath to help support it, but it won't be displayed. Another gown, one of the white bugle bead gowns from the JMC/JML era had to be stabilized as well due to the silk lining and weight of the beads. Working with the gowns is very much a "handle with care" situation.
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 02-07-2019 at 02:07 AM.

  33. #33
    I appreciate all the care that Mary has given this collection - I treasure seeing them in person.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I can tell from experience of actually cleaning a Supremes gown (well...jumpsuit) that it's a long process. The jumpsuit had been on display for several months so naturally it is going to collect dust. It was pretty intensive of going inch by inch over every part of the gown vacuuming the dust off using a special fabric covering so no beads or sequins would come loose or get sucked up.

    A lot of the designer made gowns that were worn a lot certainly took a beating and you can tell when you see them up close. Plastic sequins are losing their color (chipped or flaked), lots of missing beads, rhinestones, sequins, etc. For instance, the green swirl gowns from TCB are fragile and lost a lot of beads. One gown is in fair enough condition to be displayed and a second that is okay and has been displayed, but certainly shouldn't be constantly used. The third gown is in bad shape with major tearing at the bottom due to the fragility of silk lining and weight of the beads, but thankfully was recently stabilized with a new lining underneath to help support it, but it won't be displayed. Another gown, one of the white bugle bead gowns from the JMC/JML era had to be stabilized as well due to the silk lining and weight of the beads. Working with the gowns is very much a "handle with care" situation.
    very interesting! love hearing about your time working with Mary and the outfits. So what's your favorite? which outfit surprised you the most once seen up close? did any actually look at lot better in person than you had assumed?

    some of the outfits came with more accessories - like capes, skull caps, etc. are there some accessories in the collection that just were rarely used and therefore rarely seen by the fans?

  35. #35
    My personal favorite are the black & white swirl gowns from 1968. I wish they didn't amend them in the early 70s by filling out the curved hem. Visually all of them are stunning because of the amount of work that went into them.

    Any surprises?
    - Everyone assumes it's green, yellow, and white in the TCB green swirl gowns, but the white is actually a pale pink.

    - Contrary to what has been said and widely assumed the gowns were not cut for Susaye, but hemmed up. If you examine the bottoms on just about all the classic gowns worn by Susaye you can see how they were brought up. They could be undone and restored to their original length.

    - The gowns worn for the Irving Berlin medley are not two pieces, but one full gown with the top piece buttoning up in the back giving the appearance of being two pieces.

    - The yellow wool gowns worn by JMC are actually very pretty in person. They're very simple yet are stunning when the lights hit the rhinestones.

    - There are many accessories to the gowns especially the later 70s gowns worn by MCS and MSS. These were designed by Pat Campano. There are capes, caps, coverings, and fans. One set has opera coats. I found small orange chiffon capes marked JMC and I have no clue what they went with. There are a few other sets that haven't been displayed. One set in particular are a dark red color with a couture gold circular beading. I personally like them, but I know they've never been in any of the exhibits.
    Last edited by bradsupremes; 02-07-2019 at 07:25 PM.

  36. #36
    is this the red one with beading?

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  37. #37
    yeah i've read that the swirls are actually more of a pearl color than white. I'm assuming that was done due to the impact of the intense stage spotlights hitting them. they were intended to read as white but had to be a pink in order to come across that way

  38. #38
    my favs are the green swirls. but very sad to see them with the odd alterations that too place later years - the mini cape, the wrist bracket. and the loss of the bandana

  39. #39
    i wonder if those orange chiffon MJC capes were additional pieces that might not be with any one outfit but used (especially in winter months) as something they'd enter stage with and then remove to reveal the gown after the first number or so. supposedly these caftans were for that for MSS. one of the "gown experts" states they were worn in the notorious Vegas gig over the blue fringe gowns. then removed early in the show

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    also there's this odd pic of MJC. clearly looks like they're rehearsing for Glen Campbell. But these are most definitely not the pink pantsuits. nor the pink patchwork vests often worn with those pantsuits. not sure what these are

  40. #40
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    didn't attach with previous message. here are these other outfits

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Name:  403232_301880753184158_608354943_n copy.jpg
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    didn't attach with previous message. here are these other outfits
    This photo could be from a dress rehearsal. Or seeing that they have on the same wigs, it could also be another number from the show that hasn't yet made it's way to the bootleg circuit like the others (Everybody's Got the Right, Something, and the medley with Glen) have.

  42. #42
    The yellow wool gowns (JMC) were originally long sleeved with the large “keyhole” opening across the breast. There are one or two foreign 45 picture sleeves where they are wearing them as well as a fairly early (1970?) photo session outdoors where they are also,wearing them. At some point (I don’t know when—but I believe by the time of the MSS era), the sleeves had been removed. Perhaps, being wool, they just got too hot to wear onstage?

    Another thing I just noticed (and perhaps Brad could clarify) is that those dark red chiffon gowns with the pink pearl starbursts (see photos from sup_fan above) were made during the JMC era, photographed during the sessions used to provide artwork for the Touch LP, and appear to have been eventually been altered where the bell sleeves survived, but the high neck was removed and cut down to a scoop neck that reveals a tastefully enticing amount of décolletage—at least by the time Lynda had joined the group (as evidenced from the performance photo above where she wears the revised gown). Looking at both photos, I don’t think (again, Brad can confirm) that these gowns had a top layer high up to the neck that was removed to reveal the scoop neck since the sleeves appear the same in both photos of the gown.

    I can’t imagine why any of the girls would want gowns that have high necks—or even long, ‘tight’ sleeves? (And halter-top gowns are different as all your shoulders are exposed!) When you’re working onstage, dancing, singing—all under hot stage lights—why on earth would you want to be wearing a long-sleeved (wool!) gown?! Great concepts, not always practical, I guess.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Name:  403232_301880753184158_608354943_n copy.jpg
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    didn't attach with previous message. here are these other outfits
    These outfits that appear to be from the dress rehearsal of Glen Campbell LOOK simple, but I’d bet they’re made out of soft, silky fabrics. While they look like something they’d wear around the house, I think the style was intended to reflect the “new” Supremes more earthy look, but I’d bet the fabrics used would have still (in 1970) been quite luxe. And who knows—maybe these outfits were borrowed from the wardrobe department of the GC show/production facility?

  44. #44
    that could be - hadn't thought about the GC production facility owning them. they do look like sort of a housecoat concept. lounging around the dressing room in a wrap.

  45. #45
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    just saw this morning

  46. #46
    To answer some questions:

    - Regarding the TCB green swirls gowls, only one or two capes (I can't remember) were added not for appearance, but help in holding up the weight of the gowns. I can't remember the specifics of why but it made sense to me when it was explained. I should also add there is a particular person who "knows" that one of the gowns was cut for Susaye. It wasn't. I've seen all three gowns and they are in their original length.

    - The caftan coverings for MSS has two stories. Mary told me they weren't paired with another gown, but I have heard from someone who saw them numerous times during this period that they were worn when they entered the stage and then removed after a song or two to reveal the blue fringe gowns. A similar instance occurred in 1968/1969 when DMC came out wearing yellow/green coats and then removed to show matching green beaded gowns.

    - I don't know much about those plain outfits worn for the rehearsal on the Glen Campbell show. They're not in Mary's collection and were probably part of the studio's costume department.

    - The yellow wool gowns from JMC had their sleeves removed in the early 80s after Mary left the group. I don't know the specifics as to why they were removed. I assume it was to give them a different look. Mary said they were too hot and the rhinestones on the sleeves at the cuffs would snag on the dress.

    - As for the red gowns with the gold starburst couture beading, from what I've seen I haven't come across any covering for them. Mary has just the low cut scoop neckline gowns.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    Name:  86D8AED5-BE95-4CBB-A301-3BCE654D19C7.jpg
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    just saw this morning
    Looks similar except for the waist line. Where was this originally posted and what information was posted with this? Is someone claiming this is one of the dresses worn by DMC on Ed Sullivan in November 1967?

  48. #48
    In Facebook Stephen Woods claimed it was the same.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Looks similar except for the waist line. Where was this originally posted and what information was posted with this? Is someone claiming this is one of the dresses worn by DMC on Ed Sullivan in November 1967?
    The waistline almost looks like a “cummerbund” add-on. Maybe the cummerbund was original—and not used...maybe it wasn’t. If you watch the video performance, the dresses DO have that striping pattern, width, and coloring and I can see on Cindy’s that there is a clearly defined (stitched) waist, so...while this cummerbund is covering the waist shown in the photo here...a defined-sewn waist might be there. Part of the ‘problem’ is that this dress is on a generically-shaped mannequin—and not on the ‘1967 body’ of either D, M, or C. It’s not tailored to the mannequin and therefore looks funny/suspicious to me. However, I think this might have been one of the actual dresses. Could these have been Sullivan wardrobe rather than Supremes owned? I think the red bodystockings with the metal-disc/square mini-dresses and gold boots outfits used during “Thou Swell” from the same appearance (which were used in place of the “damsel dresses” used during rehearsal) look to be Sullivan wardrobe, IMO.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    Name:  86D8AED5-BE95-4CBB-A301-3BCE654D19C7.jpg
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    just saw this morning
    Weren't these the outfits DRATS wore with The Tempts for their "let's-sing-each-other's-hits" medley?

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