Jacques Doucet (1853–1929) was a French fashion designer and art collector. He is known for his elegant dresses, made with flimsy translucent materials in superimposing pastel colors. His clothes were of perfect taste and luxury, his name the only one equalled with Worth.
Jacques Doucet was born in Paris in 1853 to a prosperous family whose lingerie and fine linens business, Doucet Lingerie, had flourushed in the Rue de la Paix since 1816. In 1871 Doucet opened a salon selling ladies’ apparel.
His most original designs were those he created for actresses of the time. Cecile Sorel, Rejane and Sarah Bernhardt (he designed the famous white costume she wore in L’Aiglon) all wore his outfits, both on and off the stage. For them he reserved a particular style, one which consisted of frills, sinuous curving lines and lace ruffles the colors of faded flowers.
Doucet was a designer of taste and discrimination who valued dignity and luxury above novelty and practicality, and gradually faded from popularity during the 1920s.
Portrait of Jacques Doucet by Pierre Berger via
Hat by Jacques Doucet, 1900 via
Dress by Jacques Doucet, 1901 via
Jacques Doucet, Sarah Bernhardt in Aiglon via
Robe de style by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via
Robe de style by Doucet, Les Modes June 1923. Photo by Henri Manuel via
Evening gown by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via
Jacques Doucet’s apartment Photograph by Pierre Legrain Published in L’Illustration, c. 1929 via
Jacques Doucet’s Hall, Studio Saint James at Neuilly sur Seine via
Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon (née Sutherland) (1863 –1935) was best known by her professional name “Lucile”. Who was at the beginning of the twentieth century one of the most innovative, forward thinking designers. Much like her contemporary, Paul Poiret, she designed clothes for the modern woman. She launched liberating slit skirts and low necklines, popularized less restrictive corsets, and promoted alluring, pared-down lingerie.
She originated the “mannequin parade”, a precursor to the modern fashion show, and trained the first professional models who were almost as famous as she was. She gave them poetic names, like Hebe, Corisande and Dolores.
She opened branches of her London house, Lucile Ltd, in Paris, New York City and Chicago, dressing a trend-setting clientele of royalty, nobility, and stage and film personalities. Some well-known clients, whose clothing influenced many when it appeared in early films, on stage, and in the press, included: Irene Castle, Lily Elsie,Gertie Millar, Gaby Deslys, Billie Burke, and Mary Pickford.
Lucile costumed many theatrical productions including the London première of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Merry Widow (1907), the Ziegfeld Follies revues on Broadway (1915–21), and the D. W. Griffith silent movie Way Down East (1920). Her fashions were also frequently featured in Pathé and Gaumont newsreels of the 1910s and 20s, and she appeared in her own weekly spot in the British newsreel “Around the Town” (c. 1917–1919)
Lucy Duff Gordon is also remembered as a survivor of the sinking of Titanic in 1912.
Lady Lucy Duff Gordon with her dogs by Marceau via
Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow, 1909, costume by Lucile via
Lily Elsie, shown here in a costume designed by Gordon for a 1909 play called “The Dollar Princess.” via
A model in a dress by Lucile (Lady Duff Gordon), ca. 1912 via
1921 Lucile evening gown of a black chantilly lace hoop over a white satin slip, shown at the National Retail Garment Association Fashion Show at the Hotel Commodore, NYC via