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Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925
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Sketches, Theater costumes, Evening wear, 1920s, v.76

Loose 91 sketches (old-volume .76), in 4 folders. Early 1920s designs of theatrical costumes, evening wear, fancy dress, lingerie and swimwear. Designs are drafted in pencil and painted in gouache or watercolor. Many of the sketches are of theatrical costumes, some of the sketches are for nudity revealing garments. Eight drawings are dated and signed "Lucile 1921". A blond woman with golden hair appears drawn in some sketches. Among the artists recognizable throughout (Louise Schabacker, Mand T, etc.) one sketch signed "M. Willis". Some sketches indicate customer: third item in the first folder "Helen Lyons", .35 "Miss Martin", "For Miss Berry", "Madame Adelaide Fieldm...[illegible]". On several drawing note reads "fitted-gone", one has note "Mc?lan[illegible] says OK for stage". On several occasions several variations of the same outfit appear, as an example .55 and .57 are for the same dress, .39-.42 use same elements of costume in different ways.

Photographs, Assorted models, 1910s, f.2of2

8 Model photographs of ensembles from the nineteen-teens. All are encased in Mylar, and two have notation of titles and numbers which correspond with a line from the 1915: "No. 40, 1 Lake Shore Drive'" and "No. 40, 2 'Strictly Business'".

Sketches, phototransfers of, and original drawings, circa 1915-1925

5.5 linear feet - Sketches series are divided into following subseries: 1.2.1 phototransfers and photographs of sketches; 1.2.2 Original drawings. Descriptions with specific details regarding form and content are provided with subseries, and volume or folder level descriptions. Authorship of the sketches is hard to determine, at least 7 distinct artists' work appears repeatedly throughout the collection. Stylistically they vary greatly, from very precise drawing and color application, to much looser line and dabs of color. Some of the figure drawings indicate classic training, in other instances figure appears stiff, faces cartoonish, yet other artists favor stylized figure. There are differences in color application as well, ranging from masterful technique in watercolor for transparent and light fabrics accentuated with gouache for effect of raised texture or embroidery, to carefully applied opaque, flat, vibrant color with incredibly detailed textile pattern or texture. Bulk of the sketches are not signed, those that are signed rarely were signed in full; among those - Louise Schabacker, Mary Keene, Marie Cook, Ethel Rabin (reproductions of sketches mid-to-late 1920s); other artists supplied initials, abbreviation, or pictogram, in some instances only first or only last name - Bob (possibly Robert Kalloch), Alison, Dorothy, Barker (Shirley Barker), Mand T. (or Mond T.) W. Ward. In some cases name is too difficult to decipher for example - "Albalverton" has been signed in few different ways, and most likely deciphered incorrectly. Many times sketches are signed "Lucile", but that name was signed by many, in variety of styles, and could mean among other things: sign of intellectual and/or physical ownership of the Lucile, Ltd., or a sign of approval by lead designer. Items --US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.6-34 are sketches arranged by the type of clothing; although rarely dated, those dated are from 1920, 1921, and 1922, some of the material might predate or be of later dates than indicated. For years 1916, 1917-1918 see US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.1-5

Sketches, original drawings, circa 1915-1925

4.6 linear feet - The bulk of original drawings are from early 1920s. This part of the collection has several arrangements, by year, season, or type of clothing - such as Evening Wear, Evening Gowns, Theatrical Wear, Wraps and Coats, Pajamas and Negligees, and Wedding Gowns. 2 volumes document lines by year and season (1916, 1917-1918). Sketches rendered in several distinct styles, by multiple artists. Some illustrations very carefully drawn and colored with great attention to detail (most consistent example 1916 sketches), drawings from later period captivate as much for the style of execution as the subject they portray (Theatrical costume). Loose sketches collected into volumes by clothing type make up the bulk of the subseries (fragments of scrapbooks' cover artwork can be seen in 1.3.6). Drawn on a heavy board in various techniques, predominantly ink, gouache, and watercolor, some accentuated with gold and silver. There are many cases where it is especially difficult to attribute the purpose of the garment, a tea gown or theatrical costume maybe misinterpreted/misattributed, since Lucile designed for themed occasions, theater and revue, where risque outfits were required; evening gowns designed for the stage actresses may have become part of the evening wear collection. Most of the loose sketches have rusty staple marks on them.

Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925

  • US NNFIT SC.1
  • Collection
  • 1863-1935

Collection is comprised of model photographs, sketches, photographs of sketches, show programs, some newspaper and magazine clippings with articles about or by Lucile, order forms, advertisements, and fashion plates. Garment designs include theatrical costumes, wedding gowns, day and evening wear, tea gowns, lingerie and pajamas. Bulk of the collection consists of model photographs, fashion sketches, photographs of sketches and official phototransfers. In addition there are clippings of articles from different publications written by or about Lucile, she wrote regular columns for Hearst publications. Programs for the "Model Parades" introducing lines of clothing for several years. There are some photographs of Lucile's clients, and photographs of "Rose room" interiors of Lucile. Ltd from New York and Chicago locations. Inspirational and reference materials collected by Lucile and/or her staff, mainly fashion plates and newspaper clippings from different publications. Dates range from the early 1910s to the mid 1920s. Model photographs were glued in large format (12-14"w to 16-18"h) standard, blank books to order, referred throughout this finding aid as scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes in the collection. Bulk of original drawings that are arranged according to the type of clothing are loose, drawn on a heavy weight board; sketches for 1916 and 197-18 lines were glued into scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes of original drawings and 2 volumes of photographs and phototransfers. It is possible that two types of arrangement seen throughout the collection (most of Model photographs chronologically, most of sketches by type of clothing) are due to different purpose these materials served; sketches of period gowns or theatrical costumes could have been referred to time and time again for different productions or themed social events, whereas model photographs would have documented actual creation of such a garment at a certain point in time. It is also not clear why, but some scrapbooks with model photographs are reproduced in complete entirety, using same photo session materials some fully annotated.

Duff Gordon, Lucy, Lady

Phototransfers of sketches, 1910s, #1

From 2 disbound scrapbooks, 211 phototransfers of sketches. Both of the scrapbooks were from from mid 1910's. Items in folders 1 and 2 are original to this location: 128 photographs of sketches, 10 official Lucile phototransfers of sketches, and a Christmas card illustrated with a Lucile sketch. Some prints occur repeatedly. Those dated are from 1916, some have prices. Phototransfers bare embossed Lucile, Ltd. Paris stamp. There is also a Christmas card from 1909

Phototransfers of sketches, 1910s, #2

Disbound scrapbook, 211 photographs of early [Old Lucile] sketches and 30 official Lucile phototransfers of sketches in 3 folders. In the enclosing slipcase is a folder with a loose photograph of a sketch. First sketch is a drawing of an evening gown designed by Lucile and photo-transferred onto glossy paper. Second sketch is for an evening gown, drafted in pencil and painted with gouache on transparent paper. Some of the items in this scrapbook have fabric swatches attached, and marks where the ones lost were glued. Among models: #67 "Celendine", #54 "Yussef", most of the titles appear of official phototransfers. Many items dated 1916, some with more precise dates. In the last folder US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.1.7 first picture is of a modeled complete garment, not a sketch.

Sketches, drawings, 1916

Disbound scrapbook, 182 sketches from 1916, 3 folders in 2 containers. Sketches are named, numbered according to the line(s) sequence(s). Drafted in pencil and painted with gouache, and watercolor. There are 20 unannotated sketches; 62 sketches have fabric swatches. Numbering implies 3 lines. At the end of the 1st folder there are some childrens clothing designs. In the second folder #3 "Brighton South Shore", #40 "Flo, Flo" In addition to these consistently numbered and annotated sketches there are 50 "Coats and Wraps" sketches from mid 1920s, some of these are signed by Ethel Rabin, sketch artist who worked for Berley Studios, a fashion drawing subscription service. These are not original drawings, but reproductions, and pasted randomly on the available pages of this otherwise filled volume. In most of these "out of place" sketches Barely Studios imprint and artist's signature are obliterated (scratched out) or covered up by the imprint of Lucile Limited.

Photographs, Personalities, circa 1915-1919

Disbound scrapbook, 41 photographs of society women and/or actresses of theatrical garments. Most of the names that are written on the backs of the photographs or the scrapbook pages are listed here: Kitty Gordon, Eleanor Griffith, Dorothy Dickson, Annette Bade, Pearl White, Kathlyn Martyn, Mes. Philip Hummel, Francine Larrimore, Dorothy Shoemaker, inscription 'Mis Vivian Martin - star of "Just Married" '. Photographs by S.A. Johnston and Joel Feder. Further research is needed to determine the role and prominence of these women in the world of theater or society they were part of. [MOVED in from old-US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.1.16.3 - 3 photographs of actresses - (1) Kitty Gordon and (2) Bertha Kalich (aka Kalish) dedicated to McHorter, and (3) famous Irene Castle dedicated to Mr. Tolman (Manager of Lucile Ltd. of New York)]

Sketches, drawings, Fall 1917/Spring 1918

Disbound scrapbook, 63 sketches, from "Sketches of Models Autumn 1917 Spring 1918". Ensembles are named and numbered according to the sequence in the line. Sketches are drafted in pencil, painted in gouache, and detailed in pen, executed by a single artist. 16 of these sketches also have fabric swatches, and 15 are unannotated. In the same year Lucile designed a ready-to-wear clothing line in collaboration with Sears-Roebuck. #1 reads "Where the Shannon River Flows", #12 "El Celosa", #15 "Datura", #28 "Juanita", #48 "The Vanderbilt Cup", #60 "Dixie Land", #63 "Petroushka, #64 "Bobby's Here", #68 "Cupids Dream", #73 "Gena" wedding gown, #74 "Podruga" bridesmaids gown.

Directional folder x03

Directional folder contains 51 black and white photocopies of Coats and Wraps sketches from 1920's. Original sketches are glued in the 1916 scrapbook [SEE--US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.1-3 for originals]. Sketches come from Berley Studios (subscription service), signature of Ethel Rabin can be seen on some, but for the most part the Berley Studios imprint is covered by that of Lucile Ltd., in some cases the signature of Ethel Rabin (of Berley Studios) is scratched out or otherwise obscured. They seem to be color phototransfers, not original drawings.

Clippings of Newspaper articles and photocopies, 1918-1925

Bound scrapbook with articles written by Lady Duff Gordon or about Lucile, Ltd. from 1919, and 4 folder of photocopies of these articles to protect against further deterioration. Articles are the product of a clipping service with multiple copies of the same few articles from different publications.

Photocopies of Show programs and Articles

Photocopies of "The Ideal Scrapbook", the originals of which are housed in Box #30, US.NNFIT.SC.1.3.4 and US.NNFIT.SC.1.5.1-2. This box also contains photocopies of programs and articles of which the originals are missing from "The Ideal Scrapbook".

Mixed materials, interiors, assorted models, cover art,1910s-1920s

Materials from old--US.NNFIT.1.1.1.16 (Box 1) except for sketches. A mix of photographs of interiors, models and theater personalities. Instead of attempting to locate the context for the model photographs they will be left in this original arrangement, as they might be related to significant developments in Lucile Ltd. existence. For example a title "1 Lake Shore Drive" (No. 40, a winter coat and accessories ensemble) is the address of the Lucile Ltd. in Chicago established in 1915, this model was part of the Fall collection for that year. Interior photos of the "Rose rooms" from Chicago and New York locations are included here too. In addition, this box houses 5 covers of disbound scrapbook volumes.

Photocopies of Missing items from "The Ideal Scrapbook", f.4of4

Photocopies of items missing from "The Ideal Scrapbook" housed in slipcase 15. There are photocopies of covers from programs that are not present in the scrapbook, such as Lucile, Ltd. Fall 1918 and Spring 1915 covers. There are also photocopies of an article entitled "My Diary", a photocopy of a cover of "Les Ides Novelles de la Mode", and a photocopy of an article from February 17, 1918.

Ideal Scrapbook, Show Programs, f.1of3

Programs from Lucile, Ltd. fashion shows from 1913 through 1923 (not a complete run). Programs pasted on the pages of scrapbook are not in chronological order. Garments listed in the programs are numbered and named. Each of these ensembles have a brief description noting clothing type, colors, fabrics, and trimmings. Some are also notated with prices of each garment by hand, suggesting that the program indicating a master copy. Some of the programs do not have the title page indicating the date or season of the line. [Should be verified: Model photographs of four (4) of the lines are part of this collection; Autumn 1916 -US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.7-9 (box#3), Autumn 1917 - US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.10-12 (box#4), Autumn 1919 - US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.18-21 (box#7 & box#8), Spring 1917 - US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.31-35 (box#12 & box#13).] At the end of the folder is a letter from the former staff of Lucile, Ltd. to Lady Duff Gordon, a ticket and invitation to a September 22, 1922 private showing of the Fall and Winter collections designed by Evelyn McHorter for J.M. Gidding & Company, an enterprise that bought Lucile, Ltd. List of programs in order of arrangement: 1. Fall 1913; 2. Spring 1923; 3. Fall 1923 and Fall 1922; 4. Spring 1920 and Spring 1919; 5. Fall 1920; 6. Fall 1919; 7. Spring 1918 and Spring 1917; 8. Fall 1914; 9. Fall 1916 and 1917; 10. 5-leave program with no cover page; 11. 1-leave program with no cover page.

Inspirational, Clippings of costumes, scrapbook, 1920s

Box #34 - Bound scrapbook of 484 newspaper and magazine clippings of costume sketches. Gathered to about 15 to a page, these clippings are collaged in the book. None of the sketches related to a Lucile design. Some of the cut outs have notes on them about colors and fabrics, such as "gown of pale citron yellow chiffon in two shades with trailing effect of drapery and girdle of green and gray satin, green leaves forming the decoration. Introduced by Helen Paul, Inc". Toward the end of the scrapbook, on page 29, the year "1926" is written in the margin.

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