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How a Supremes dress ended up being reunited with its Motown owner Mary Wilson almost 60 years later

  • Video report by ITV News Art Editor Nina Nannar

She calls her beloved outfits her children.

Little wonder that on Tuesday Mary Wilson was reduced to tears.

The Supremes founding member is in the UK to talk fashion.

She has a new book out, Supreme Glamour, which explores the look that she and her fellow band members made famous in the 60s with their hits.

And she has made it her business to collect those couture outfits from five decades ago, often finding them on eBay.

Today though, the 28-year-old owner of a vintage shop in Sheffield came to her rescue.

The dress was found at a French car boot sale. Credit: ITV News

Amber Savage found one of the outfits that got away, in France last year.

In a car boot sale no less, where the sparkly, sequined body outfit caught her eye.

The woman selling it had kept this apparent item of fancy dress in her garage for 30 years.

Amber bought it for €70 (£63), not daring to hope the name Mary Wilson, written on the label, could belong to the singer.

Along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, she was part of the Motown band who enjoyed huge success around the world.

Having established the outfit was indeed the real deal, today Amber returned the item to the singer.

She'd asked for £700 - even though she was offered much more by another would-be buyer, but wanted to make sure it was Mary Wilson who ended up with it.

And the singer tearfully thanked her, saying many others would simply have kept the outfit.

For Mary, the clothes are more than glittering mementos.

The clothes worn by the band help changed perceptions of black women.

The singer described how in the 60s three young black girls dressed so glamourously on stage was radical, changing the narrative on how black women were portrayed in popular culture, and influencing scores of female bands that followed.

When Motown moved from Detroit, some of the outfits - Mary estimates around 100 - went missing.

The ones she has have toured the world in exhibitions.

Having Skyped Amber earlier this year, when she identified the body suit - a sort of sequined leotard - today she had her proper reunion with it.

Wilson was surprised it was in such good condition, and couldn't believe how tiny she used to be to fit into it!

But she pointed out that the body suit was part of a longer outfit - with a wrap round skirt and a hat.

So a request: Could Amber perhaps be on the lookout for those too?