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Kingston Theatre Hotel, Hull: Madam Clapham’s Salon

A world renowned fashion house in the centre of Hull during WW1

Madam Clapham was a world renowned dress-maker with a salon based in Hull’s Kingston Square, now home to the Kingston Theatre Hotel.

Clapham expanded the dress-making business on Kingston Square between 1887 until her death in 1952 when the salon was taken over by her niece until 1967.

WW1 saw Madam Clapham advertise for jobs offering ‘good wages and constant work’; providing women with constant work both during and after WW1.

The events of war saw the arrival of changing times for women’s fashion as their role in society transformed and in turn had a huge impact on the Clapham business. The war years saw a decline in what Clapham was best known for, out went the exquisite dresses with restrictive corsets and hemlines, making way for a loser fitted outfit with clothes to suit changing attitudes and social codes as women gained a greater degree of freedom at work and for the war effort.

Location: Kingston Theatre Hotel, Hull HU2 8DA
Image: A wedding dress designed by Madam Clapham in 1918, courtesy of Hand on History, Hull Museums

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