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Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925
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Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925

  • US NNFIT SC.1
  • Coleção
  • 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.

Lucile, 1862-1935

Model photographs, 1915-1919

5.5 linear feet - Model photographs series of the collection include documents Lucile Ltd. lines for 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1919 (not all seasons). Some of the lines are annotated with model titles, listing of fabrics and fabric swatches. In some instances a name of the customer or a price is jotted down. Most often there are multiple takes of the model showing front, back, and side views providing complete presentation of a costume. Some volumes repeat in almost complete entirety, (reasons unknown). Some of the annotations are written in careful script, with ruled lines for uniformity of the letter height, and pasted on a heavier board. Women in these photographs are mostly girls hired to model for Lucile Ltd., however there are some photographs of well known theater and film personalities (See series 1.3.2). Lady Duff Gordon was the first one to have specialized events called "Mannequin Parades" for showing clothes on beautiful women in staged settings, a precursor to today's runway fashion shows. In the collection clothes are modeled by models whose full names were not lost to history: Dolores (Kathleen Mary Rose [married name Willkinson]), Phyllis (Phyllis Francatelli), Dinarzade (Lillian Mulligan [married name Farley] in some sources identified as Lillian Fisher, or Petra Clive), Hebe (Constance Vasselier); as well as those known by only trade names - Arjamand, Melisande, Gamela, Corisande and others. Among photographers listed separately as contributors are, Joel Feder, T. Fall, Burke Atwell (Lucile Studio?), White Studio 1546 Broadway

Photographs, Fall, 1915, 1 of 2

Disbound scrapbook, 145 photographs Autumn 1915 line, in 2 folders. Photographs are unannotated. At this time Lady Duff Gordon reached creative and financial pinnacle of her career. Success of New York branch helped to support the war-torn London and Paris branches. This line features a return to the full skirt and decorative pleating and decadent fabrics. Around this time Lucile gained status of a Permanent Resident in the United States. [See--US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.3-6 for annotation, duplicated material (models #91-#105 are not included in this volume)]

Photographs, Fall, 1916/Spring, 1917

Disbound scrapbook, (79 leaves?) (168 photographs?) from the autumn 1916 and spring 1917 lines, in 3 folders. Garments are fully annotated, includes title, number, and short description noting colors and/or fabrics. The program for the premier fashion show of this line is available in--US.NNFIT.SC.1.3.4.1 Each number worn by the model has two to four photographs of the garments from different angles. Many designs of oriental influence, especially tea gowns such as #14 "Djer-kiss" Persian, #11 "Tuan", and evening wear - #47 "Bilitis" evening gown, #28 "Salambo" opera coat. Missing is ensemble #5; ensemble #45 is fully described but has no photographs and a note "not designed". 1 item previously in a separate folder was moved into first folder - #33. Album is of heavier, gray color paper, fits 2 photographs next to each other on a single page. [See: --US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.7-9 for duplicated material, note the inconsistency in titles (1916-1917 vs 1916)] Photographs by Feder, Joel

Photographs, Fall, 1917

Disbound scrapbook, 136 photographs from Fall, 1917 in 4 folders, 2 containers. Each ensemble is named, numbered, described, and ordered according to its display in the premier fashion show; among them #12 "Mary Pickford", #28 "Revolution". Last folder --US.NNFIT.SC.1.1.17 contains many fur coat designs. Many ensembles have multiple photographs depicting different views of the costume. Photographs taken at Studio.

Photographs, Fall, 1919

Disbound scrapbook, 234 photographs, Autumn 1919, 4 folders in 2 containers. Each ensemble is named and numbered in accordance to their order displayed at the autumn 1919 fashion show. Created in a period of legal and business difficulties, this line is one of the last produced by Lady Duff Gordon for Lucile, Ltd. Most costumes have two to four photographs displaying different views of the ensemble. Included in this scrapbook is a copy of a half page advertisement for Lucile, Ltd. from the May 1st, 1920 issue of Town and Country Magazine. The add indicates that the collection was created in France. The photography is less controlled, many photographs are overexposed, the interior of the room itself is somewhat drab, dresses less ornamented, more solemn, some not very well fitted, many new girls among those modeling the clothes, fabrics feature bold patterns. The program for the premier fashion show of this line is available in--US.NNFIT.SC.1.3.4.1

Photographs, Fall, 1919, f.1of4

69 photographs, models #1-#44, mostly coats and walking suits; a clipping from 'Town and Country' advertising presentation of the line in a private viewing event; photocopy of a scrapbook cover.

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