Family Tree Tuesday – Lady Lucy Christiana Duff-Gordon
Lucile had another close call three years after surviving the Titanic when she booked passage aboard the RMS Lusitania on its last voyage. It was reported in the press that she canceled her trip due to illness. The Lusitania was destroyed by a German torpedo on May 7, 1915.
The first British designer to achieve international recognition, Lucile (as she was known) was a couture fashion designer. She originated the “mannequin parade“, a precursor to the modern fashion show. She is also known for having trained the first professional models, as well as launching slit skirts, low necklines, less restrictive corsets, and pared-down lingerie.
Lucile’s former assistant, Howard Greer, published memories of his years working with her in the book Designing Male (1950). A dual biography of Lucile and her sister Elinor Glyn, called The ‘It’ Girls, by Meredith Etherington-Smith, was published in 1986, the title stemming from Elinor’s popularization of the euphemism “it” to denote sexuality or “sex appeal.