Fred Astaire: V&A Visit
By Colin on 4th September, 2015

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We were pleased to welcome Keith Lodwick, Curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Theatre and Dance department, and fellow key curators and international experts in the field of dance and film history to our shop today.

Fred Astaire’s tailcoat worn in the 1937 film ‘Shall We Dance’ has been acquired by V&A, and a study day celebrating the acquisition of the tailcoat, and a dress worn by Ginger Rogers in the 1944 film Lady in the Dark will be held on Se theptember 5th . It will bring together our visitors today and many other enthusiasts, scholars and special guests.

Fred Astaire was a long-time customer of Anderson & Sheppard, having many of our suits made for him for both on and off the screen. Our visitors today had the chance to look inside our old ledgers, view Astaire’s measurements and get a feel for the type of fabrics and cloths that his other suits and jackets would have been made from. They had the opportunity to talk to our Coat and Trouser Cutters and Makers and find out about the skills, time and precision that goes into making an Anderson & Sheppard suit.

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One of our senior cutters Leslie Haynes also gave a quick demonstration in the cutting room, cutting a paper pattern from Astaire’s measurements. Leslie also measured up Mr Lodwick, showing them first-hand what a fitting at Anderson & Sheppard is like.

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It was a pleasure to have our guests round today and we would like to thank all at the V&A for including us.

The study day will be held at The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre on 5th September. For more details visit:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/event/4977/fred-astaire-and-ginger-rogers-a-london-celebration-1757022982/