A Passion for Fashion - Madame Clapham Revisited

Mrs Jameson's Dress (1891)

Who wore it?

Mrs Jameson was the wife of Mr Robert Jameson, the Mayor of Hull between 1870–1873. They lived at East Ella, an affluent area in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


Where was it worn?

This dress was made for the wedding of Mr and Mrs Jameson's son, on 9 July 1891. It has a jacket of bottle green velvet with a long train at the back and a suit of ivory silk brocade. The dress was specially made for Mrs Jameson, as she was the mother of the groom. The dress was later adapted into a less formal day dress, with the addition of a beaded bottle green velvet waistcoat.


An embroidered label in the waistband of the dress says:

‘Robes et Modes, E Clapham, Kingston Square, Hull’.  Madame Clapham liked to be associated with the latest Paris fashions, so she used the French words ' robes et modes', meaning 'dresses and fashions', on her labels.


Madame Clapham took pride in the social status of the customers she attracted. In an interview with the Hull Lady magazine in 1901, she said:

To give you some idea as to the large connection I have, I may tell you I make dresses for most of the county and leading society ladies, also a great many for royalty, and I send out dresses to ladies living abroad whom I have never seen.

Click through to the next page to see more of Madame Clapham's designs or view the image gallery.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hands-on History Museum, Hull | 
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