Glove Story of the Week - Anne Kershaw’s Handmade Gloves | The Fashion Museum

Glove Story of the Week - Anne Kershaw’s Handmade Gloves

Welcome to Week Five of our new series showcasing the world-class Glove Collection of the Worshipful Company of the Glovers of London, cared for and housed here in Bath at the Fashion Museum.

8 March 2019

This week in honour of International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, we are celebrating the achievements of glove-maker Mrs Anne Kershaw by highlighting a selection of her beautiful handmade gloves from the 1950s.

Anne Kershaw began making gloves at a Make Do and Mend class in a County Durham village hall during the Second World War. Her first attempt was a pair of huge gauntlet gloves made from a rabbit-skin provided by a local farmer. Anne honed her craft and after the war, moved back to London and went on to supply handmade gloves to some of the leading couture houses and fashion retailers of the day.

Anne Kershaw is pictured here stitching gloves in Hyde Park, London in the late 1940s with her daughter Joyce.

Back in London, Anne Kershaw worked first from her flat in Hans Crescent and then later from Hyde Park Mansions in Marylebone. Her big break was when the department store Woollands of Knightsbridge ordered 54 pairs of gloves - short, medium and long – and many in the then fashionable colour of lime green!  Anne’s success grew and during the 1950s she made gloves for many of the top London couturiers including Norman Hartnell and the House of Worth.

Anne Kershaw also worked regularly for the House of Lachasse in Mayfair, supplying luxury hand-sewn gloves for their couture clientele. In 1954, she took on an extra special commission, creating miniature day and evening gloves for fashion doll, Miss Virginia Lachasse. A perfect scale model of her namesake Virginia Woodford, the leading model at the House of Lachasse in 1954, Miss Virginia Lachasse was the star attraction in a touring exhibition of dressed dolls to raise money for the Greater London Fund for the Blind. Her fully accessorised wardrobe was made from the same luxury materials and to identical high standards as full size pieces by Lachasse, and included gloves made by Anne Kershaw as well as stockings by Aristoc and an Asprey handbag.

We are delighted that Miss Virginia Lachasse is now part of the Fashion Museum collection and currently on display in our headline exhibition A History of Fashion in 100 Objects.

Anne Kershaw was a highly skilled and successful glove-maker and we are excited to have these examples of her work at the Fashion Museum Bath. Anne always said that the secret of glove-making was how to measure the stretch in a piece of leather, and as well as over 40 single gloves intricately crafted by her hands, the Glove Collection of the Worshipful Company of Glovers also contains specially dyed and prepared skins, gloving tools, pattern pieces and accessories used by Anne during her working life as a glove-maker.

We would love to find out more about Anne Kershaw so please do get in touch at [email protected] with any memories and photographs – it would be brilliant to hear from you!

Glove Stories is on display until 1 March 2020. To celebrate we are highlighting one fabulous pair of gloves from this wonderful collection every week.

Glove images courtesy of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London.

Miss Lachasse images copyright V&A Images.