Shall We Dance

Costume
1936 (made)
Shall We Dance thumbnail 1
Shall We Dance thumbnail 2
+5
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Tailcoat worn by Fred Astaire in the film Shall We Dance (1937). The tailcoat was created by Anderson and Sheppard Ltd.

Fred Astaire provided many of his own tailcoats and suits for his film roles and was a regular customer at Anderson and Sheppard Ltd. in London’s Savile Row. Astaire liked to test the seams of his suits by performing dance steps in front of a full-length mirror. He wanted to make sure that the suit would stay perfectly in line with his body as he danced, so there were a series of seams sewn into the jacket to ensure this flexibility.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the most famous dance couple in the history of cinema. The couple made ten musical films together and worked with some of the greatest composers of the 20th century including Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. The Astaire and Rogers partnership was established with a successful formula of music, choreography, costume and set design, which were all brilliantly fused together.

The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Film Costume
  • Tailcoat
  • Film Costume
  • Trousers
Brief Description
Costume worn by Fred Astaire in the film Shall We Dance, made by Anderson and Sheppard Ltd., 1937
Credit line
Given by the British Film Institute
Summary
Tailcoat worn by Fred Astaire in the film Shall We Dance (1937). The tailcoat was created by Anderson and Sheppard Ltd.



Fred Astaire provided many of his own tailcoats and suits for his film roles and was a regular customer at Anderson and Sheppard Ltd. in London’s Savile Row. Astaire liked to test the seams of his suits by performing dance steps in front of a full-length mirror. He wanted to make sure that the suit would stay perfectly in line with his body as he danced, so there were a series of seams sewn into the jacket to ensure this flexibility.



Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are the most famous dance couple in the history of cinema. The couple made ten musical films together and worked with some of the greatest composers of the 20th century including Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. The Astaire and Rogers partnership was established with a successful formula of music, choreography, costume and set design, which were all brilliantly fused together.



The British Film Institute (BFI) acquired its costume collection for display at the Museum of the Moving Image, which existed on the South Bank in London between 1988 and 1999. The collection is made up of British, European, American and Japanese films and covers the period from the silent film era to the mid-1990s. It contains a wealth of historic and significant film costumes worn by major performers and designed by some of the 20th century’s most important film costume designers. The collection was transferred to the V&A in 2015.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
S.206:1, 2-2015

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record createdMay 29, 2015
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