Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breaking Into Fashion

Merry Widow hat on the London Stage, 1908
Actress Lily Elsie wearing Lucile in 'The Pictorial', 1911

Afternoon dress, 1916

Lucile’s dress shop, known as ‘Maison Lucile’, became an instant success. As her notability continued to spread, Lucille began designing costumes for stage use. Hats used in these stage designs were reproduced and instantly sold out in various department stores. With a willingness to admit that she lacked knowledge in financial matter, Lucille enlisted the help of successful businessman Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. This partnership with Duff-Gordon later turned into a successful marriage between the two. With a successful business regimen, Lucile became the first haute couture designers to embrace ready-to-wear retail along with mail-order markets. With her new marriage at hand, Lucile became famously known as Lady Duff Gordon. She and her husband then founded Lucile Ltd, her new company which would allow her designs all around the world.

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