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Woman's "Happiness" Dinner Dress

Designed by Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon, English, 1863 - 1935. Label Lucile Ltd., New York.

Made in New York, New York, United States, North and Central America

Fall 1916

Silk taffeta, satin, tulle, and chiffon with lace, lace insets and appliqué, ribbons, and silk flowers

Center Back Length: 51 inches (129.5 cm) Waist: 26 inches

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. William H. Greene, 1962

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applique [x]   chiffon [x]   dinner dress [x]   lace [x]   lucile [x]   ribbon [x]   satin [x]   silk [x]   taffeta [x]   tulle [x]  

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Described by the press as "the first English lady of 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.