Lucile by Lady Duff Gordon

“I loosed upon a startled London, a London of flannel underclothes, woollen stockings and voluminous petticoats, a cascade of chiffons, of draperies as lovely as those of Ancient Greece and drapes skirts which opened to reveal slender legs…I showed the world that a woman’s leg can be a thing of beauty, instead of a ‘limb’ (in the parlance of those days), which was only spoken of in the privacy of the fitting-room.” ~ Lady Duff Gordon

Model wearing a fur shawl over a chiffon dress and headband in the shape of a laurel crown.

Close-up shot of Lucile ensemble, 1912

Walking ensemble of fur-trimmed jacket with belt

Ensemble of cross-over fastened coat with fur collar and cuffs

Model posing as a caryatid wearing embroidered tunic

Model in fur coat and hat over a high-waisted dress

Tea Gowns

Model holding a parasol wearing a polka-dot cross-over dress

Model Dolores carrying a parasol and posing in a Directoire

Bright purple evening gown from Lucile’s Winter 1911 collection.

Courtesy of Ye Olde Fashion Tumblr via the Victoria & Albert Museum

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About Evangeline Holland

Author of Edwardian/WWI historicals. Likes cooking, the smell and collecting of old books, various artsy hobbies, travel, classic cinema, period dramas, the fusty areas of history, and all things French (though is terrible with maintaining fluency in the language). Read more about her novels and non-fiction here

  • http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com/ Hels

    The models in their gorgeous white tea gowns are lounging around outside because Lady Duff Gordon was the first entrepreneur to have outdoor fashion parades. Brilliant idea!

    The two ladies holding umbrellas have gorgeous dresses and gorgeous hats. I would wear them in a heartbeat.

  • http://heidenkind.blogspot.com/ heidenkind

    I LOVE that hat in the second photo! Where can I get one? ;)

    • http://evangelineholland.com Evangeline Holland

      @heidenkind: Me too. The shape looks easy…a future tutorial?

      @Hels: It’s so unfortunate that Lady Duff Gordon’s contribution to fashion is buried beneath history and her Titanic reputation; she was incredibly innovative and many 20th century designers got their start under her label.

  • Pingback: Lucile – Leading Fashion Designer | Photographs, film, literature & qoutes from the bygone era

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