Woman's "Happiness" Dinner Dress
Designed by Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon, English, 1863 - 1935. Label Lucile Ltd., New York.
Described by the press as "the first English lady of title...to dress the Four Hundred," the English couturiere Lady Duff Gordon, known as Lucile, opened a New York branch of her famous London dressmaking business in 1910, expanding to Paris in 1912 and Chicago in 1915. Lucile aimed to make an art of beautiful dressing, and her "Dream Dresses" were fairy-tale creations of shimmering silks, gossamer laces, and delicate rainbows of ribbon. Influenced by her early designs for Lingerie and tea gowns, Lucile's dresses, which she also referred to as "Gowns of Emotion," were given suitable romantic names. This pale aqua dinner dress, entitled "Happiness," is from her Fall 1916 New York collection and represents the quintessential Lucile creation. It was designed in the eighteenth-century style she often favored, with its hooped skirt drawn back to reveal a delicate silk, lace, and ribon petticoat.