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Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon

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Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon 1919
Evening dress, Spring 1913, Lucile (1863–1935) V&A Museum

Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon (born Lucy Christiana Sutherland, 13 June 1863 – 20 April 1935) was a British fashion designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She used the professional name Lucile as a designer. Duff-Gordon was a widely known innovator in couture styles and in fashion industry relations.

Duff-Gordon was born in London, and died at 71 in Putney, London, of breast cancer. She also survived the RMS Titanic disaster in April 1912.

Fashion innovations[change | change source]

Using the first professional models, Lucy started the fashion show known as a "mannequin parade". These were the first runway or catwalk-style shows. She launched slit skirts and low necklines. She popularized less restrictive corsets, and simpler lingerie.[1][2]

Duff-Gordon opened branches of her London house, Lucile Ltd, in Paris, New York City, and Chicago, dressing royal and noble clients, and stage and film personalities.[3][4]

Books[change | change source]

  • Duff-Gordon, Lucy 1932. Discretions and indiscretions. Jarrolds. Her autobiography.

References[change | change source]

  1. Etherington-Smith, Meredith & Pilcher, Jeremy 1986. The "It" girls, Lady Duff Gordon, the couturiere 'Lucile', and Elinor Glyn, romantic novelist. Watermill Books, 56–57. ISBN 0-15-145774-3
  2. De la Haye, Amy & Mendes, Valerie D. 2009. Lucile Ltd. V&A Publishing, 22, 26. ISBN 978-1-851-775613
  3. O'Hara, Georgina & Donovan, Carrie 1986. The encyclopedia of fashion. London: Thames & Hudson, 164. ISBN 0-500-27567-X
  4. Bowles, Hamish November 1999. The look of the century. Vogue, 453.