Happy birthday to English designer Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon. While her delicate “Dream Dresses” of the early 1900s epitomized romance, she was also a savvy innovator and marketer, developing one of the first global fashion brands.

Woman’s “Happiness” Dinner Dress, Fall 1916, by Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon


Lucile Lingerie AW12 Lookbook. Had the pleasure shooting with a fantastic client and team at the sumptuous Sutton Hall nr York. Lucile is a fabulous British heritage luxury lingerie brand and their story is fascinating. 

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Need a relaxing moment? Imagine wearing one of these frothy dresses. Repeat evocative words like gossamer, diaphanous, and ethereal. Envision the peaceful bliss of a springtime idyll. Then take a deep breath before returning to reality….

Woman’s Dressing Gown (Tea Gown), 1907, by Jeanne Hallée

Woman’s Evening Dress, c. 1817, France

Woman’s “Happiness” Dinner Dress, fall 1916, by Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon

Woman’s Court Ensemble: Skirt, Bodice, and Headdress, 1950, by Norman Hartnell

Woman’s Dress, c. 1908, United States

Woman’s Evening Dress: Top, Skirt, and Underskirt, 1979, by Zandra Rhodes

Woman’s Dinner Dress: Bodice and Skirt, c. 1902–7, by Gustave Beer

Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff Gordon reading. 

Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935) was the founder of the fashion label Lucile Ltd. Lucy is best known for her tea gowns, and in their design she was able to capture the decadence and frivolity of her time through the use of lace, chiffon and copious amounts of silk flowers. From the beginning of Lucy’s entrepreneurship she eschewed rules in favour of innovation.