Lady Duff Gordon Links


Randy Bryan Bigham

Here are some links I was going to send to Shelley with whom I regularly trade fashion/Titanic gab but I thought some of them might also be of interest to the rest of ya so here goes:

Photos of Lady Duff Gordon and her "Lucile" fashions -

Bio/profile of "Lucile," Lady Duff Gordon -

Reprint of 1 of Lady DG's series of 4 crochet books. See under title "Vintage Tatting and Crochet" -

Sears Roebuck ad for Lady DG's ready-to-wear line of dresses -

Original edition of Lady DG's autobiography -

Well, there ya go.

Well, Maureen I'm happy at least one person other than Shelley cares! Thanks for checking the sites out.
Thanks Randy for that great information!

Best regards,

Jason D. Tiller
I always read your posts...always! I thoroughly enjoy them. Sometimes you are so over my head with some of the details of the DG's that I just read and stay quiet, least I ask a stupid question. So the coward that I am I stay quiet until I get a whole lot smarter on this topic and then I will brave a question. But please do not think that I do not read your stuff. I always do and enjoy it.

I think that I had asked you once before, but I may not your interest in fashions of the Edwardian age also in relation to current dolls that attempt to fashion themselves after period apparel of the Edwardian/Victorian periods.

Like The Franklin Mint in Pennsylvania, USA has a "Rose" Titanic doll that is dressed in these fantasically intrique dresses complete with the hats and jewelry and stuff. They also have other dolls dressed in that period dress as well, I believe that they are called Gibson Dolls, but I could be wrong. I do not collect dolls or anything like that, but I saw one of these dolls advertized and the dress was very beautifully done.

I guess if one has actually touched a LDG outfit, who needs a porcelain Rose Doll. Just thought I would ask.

Thanks for your kind vote of support. I was only making a crack that nobody ELSE was reading my Lucile stuff! I joked on the phone w/ Phil Gowan recently about how I imagine people don't care much for dear Lucile. That may or may not really be the case; it's just a lot of folks are interested in Titanic ONLY - they're not interested in the careers or private lives of survivors/victims, etc. But I'm the opposite. I want to know what these people were like BEFORE and AFTER. I can't abide defining these people - especially someone as influential as Lucile - by their Titanic experience. You know they didn't just pop out of some void on April 14, 1912 - but sometimes we treat them like that.

Besides that I'm proud of the pictures and profiles re: Lucile I lent to those web sites and just wish people would spend a few minutes to look at them and read what I've written. I think some people who are content to hate the Duff Gordons are afraid, in Lucile's case at least,that they might end up liking the old gal!

Thanks, again Maureen. You're too sweet!

Thanks Randy for the compliment to me, but you earned the praise. I do not know of anyone who knows more about fashion than you. I really admire you a lot!

So, what about the dolls...or are you protecting me from a response to a really stupid question and I am just too dense to realize this. I mean, I think that the detailed work that steamstresses do for doll clothing can be very difficult and these outfits..I looked and the dolls are vinyl, but the dresses are very well made, I guess. But you are the expert and maybe it frustrated you to no end that people like me are impressed with modern work when such care and details were a matter of form back in LDG's day.

Thanks for your response Randy. You are really super! BTW, don't tell John Feeney that I really live across the street from you, he thinks that I live south of him. he he
I stand in awe of your work that you did to provide those wonderful photos to those web sites. What beautiful gowns! You know I actually wondered about First Lady Wilson as she wore many gowns that seemed to fit LDG's profile.

But the thing that really impressed me the most was the written story about LDG. I wish that I had had her as a dressmaker, because I feel like she did, that it is the emotional makeup of the clothes that support the woman and allow her to feel great about herself.

Many of my co-workers purchase really great suits, but they are all the same dark blue, black or maroon classic suit that every one buys. I like my artistic side that refuses to be a conformist to what is the norm in fashion.

As has been discussed in other threads, I am...what is the heavy...and many outfits look ...ummm...stressed shall we say, so I enjoy wearing layers that sort of even me out. LDG I believe would have known me and would have been able to design something that was just for me.

Thanks you Randy for introducing me to her!
Looking forward to your publication of your book.

I'm sorry I forgot to address your question of the dolls. Yes, I think they're wonderful. And aren't they pricey little gems! I have seen the old ones go for thousands but even the new ones are expensive. And as far as I can tell, the workmanship is quite faithful to original Victorian/Edwardian fashion and so I say they're worth it. Which is not true of all expensive fashion pieces or collectibles. The "Rose" dolls are really lovely.

You know dolls were the way fashion was publicized in the old days (18th century) - long before the live models of today. "Modistes" like Marie-Antoinette's appointed "Marchande de Modes" Rose Bertin (and an influence on Lucile)used to dress these dolls exquisitely and have them dispatched to all the courts of Europe to promote her work among the world's Royalty which was THE way to get to be a big name then, before rock and movie stars took over the field of fashion-trendsetting!

You're too kind with compliments about my expertise in fashion. If you could see me day to day, now that I'm out of the rat race for the time being and don't have to dress up for work as in the past, you'd think I never heard the word fashion. But in the Texas country-side there just is no need for it!

Your dilemma re: suitable clothes in the work place or for other semi-formal/business occasions is a common one. You definitely should preserve your individuality, as Lucile would tell you, for if you don't like a gray suit you can always wear a color you like better. Only be careful as to fit, especially as you have now officially divulged to me what I have long suspected from your posts - that you are large-bosomed! You must therefore always stick to straight lines, never over-emphasis what is readily apparent, which means no large floppy collars or busy prints. Colors are an area of compromise. As I don't know your complexion or hair coloring I can't say what would be best. Also if you happen to be short don't shy from longer skirts - they lend height and form provided the skirt isn't too full.

Well, that's enough fashion preaching for the ET board. Atually I feel that Our Dear Editor Mr. Hind may find it insupportable of me to turn a thread into a dress advice column. In which case I promise not to do it again. If you crave more fashion patter you can e-mail me personally, Maureen love, at [email protected].

All my best,

Thanks Randy so much for your posting and your email. I shall send you all of my vital statistics via email and you can provide me with great advice!
Enjoy your day!
Thanks Randy so much for your posting and your email. I shall send you all of my vital statistics via email and you can provide me with great advice!
Enjoy your day!

Though it may seem that these links are largely being posted in vain, I will not be deterred in the hope that a few of you out there give a damn about "Lucile" or at least are willing to look past some of the <FONT COLOR="ff0000">•••• most people say about her.

These are all Titanic related:

http://www.mtroyal.ab-ca/gaslight/titnch18.htm - Chapter XVIII of Sinking of the Titanic by Mowbray - French site featuring profile/photos of the Duff Gordons - German site featuring re-enacted audio of a segment of Lady Duff Gordon's British Enquiry testimony