Encyclopedia Titanica

Death Closes Career of Lady Duff Gordon

New York American

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Modiste Who "Dressed the
Women of Three Generations"
Once Had Shop in New York

LONDON, April 21. - Lady Duff Gordon, for many years world celebrated as an arbiter of fashion, and a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, died today in a Putney nursing home following a long illness. She was a sister of Elinor Glyn, the novelist.

With her husband, the late Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon, Lady Duff Gordon escaped the sinking liner in a lifeboat in 1912. They were picked up and landed in New York by the liner Carpathia.

She wrote an exclusive and graphic story of the disaster for the New York American.

Dictator of Styles.

With her husband, Lady Duff Gordon later appeared as principal witness in the inquiry conducted in London into the wreck of the Titanic.

The former modiste created styles under the professional name of "Lucile, Ltd" and was called "the Whistler of dress."

She was a genius in the grouping of simple colors in a costume and her gowns pronounced the final dictum of fashionable attire on the Continent and in the United States.

Lady Duff Gordon was well-known to society in London, Paris and New York and it is no exaggeration to say that she dressed three generations of society women.

Her writings of the mode of the day were widely circulated. She was credited with revolutionizing the dress of Englishwomen.

Had Shop in New York.

Her establishment in Hanover Square, London, attracted a clientele largely of the British nobility. She outrivaled the great Parisians by her genius.

In 1910 Lady Duff Gordon opened a Lucile dress establishment in New York which eventually involved her in litigation.

Twelve years later she was forced to close her London and Paris establishments because of competition she was no longer able to meet.

Thereafter she devoted her activities merely to the writing of the modes. She long advocated the adoption of short skirts and vigorously opposed their surrender to the dictates of fashion.

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon died in 1931 in London after a long illness.


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) Death Closes Career of Lady Duff Gordon (New York American, Monday 22nd April 1935, ref: #1616, published 28 August 2003, generated 26th September 2022 02:15:22 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/death-closes-career-lady-duff-gordon.html