To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Laura Ashley label, this exhibition will encapsulate the vision of the romantic heroine that this iconic designer gave to ... view details
Press Releases > Lucile Fashion Designer, Titanic Survivor
This summer’s show in the Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum features a dress designed by Lucile which spotlights both the glamorous and dangerous worlds of 1912, the year that Lucile survived The Titanic. This is the fascinating story behind an exquisite wedding gown, designed by Lucile, one of the most famous fashion designers of the time. Lady Duff Gordon, known as ‘Lucile’, had fashion houses in London, Paris and New York. She was the first designer to stage fashion parades using beautiful models.
Lucile was rescued from the Titanic in April 1912. The dress was worn in June 1912, and is the centre-piece of an exhibition which captures the mood of the time. The story behind this dress illustrates both the innovations and the optimism of the age exactly a hundred years ago. The tale of this young bride is one of bravery and tragedy, bound up with the early history of flying and motoring. It is an insight into her exciting and glamorous life, which was shattered by World War One.
The beautiful gown she wore for her marriage to a pioneer aviator is a seductive mix of shimmering soft satin, pearls and diaphanous layers exemplifies Lucile’s signature style at the height of her career. Cecil Beaton considered that the Lucile ‘creations of this period are surely the loveliest..... drapery of filmy chiffon was weighed down with embroidery of almost incredible delicacy’.
The Lucile dress will make its appearance on 14th April in The Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum. At present it is nestling in tissue paper in its own special box in the textile conservation room awaiting the conservator and the mount-maker to bring it back to life. Although approaching its centenary, the dress is in almost perfect condition, preserved and treasured by the family until they donated it to The Bowes Museum in 1989. The donors were nieces of the bride; Princess Iris Wittgenstein, Diana Cavendish and Sylvia Ryle-Hodges.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 14 April 2012 and is showing until 6 January 2013. The Museum’s Keeper of Fashion & Textiles, Joanna Hashagen, is available for interview.
The Museum now offers a 6 month Admission Pass, giving a cost effective opportunity to make the most of all this fabulous building has to offer. Incredible value for money at only £12.00, the pass enables the buyer to make unlimited return visits to the Museum within that 6 month timeframe. Passes are available to purchase on the Museum’s website, or alternatively purchase on the day of your visit.
The Bowes Museum, Café Bowes and Shop are open daily from 10.00. A full programme of events and exhibitions is available by calling 01833 690606 or by viewing the website at www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk.
• The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
• The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a member of the North East Regional Museums Hub receives support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Museums, Library and Archives Council Renaissance programme. Additional revenue funding specifically for the Museum’s acclaimed exhibition programme is provided by Northern Rock Foundation.
• The Bowes Museum has recently undergone major redevelopment. This work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation. While we are endeavouring to keep as much of the collections on display as possible, visitors are advised to call ahead if wishing to see a specific item to check if it is on display.
• Normal admission to the museum: Adults £9.00, Concessions £8.00, Six Month Pass £12.00, Children Free (under 16s). Admission allows access to all exhibitions, permanent displays and some events. Admissions are donation inclusive and are eligible for Gift Aid. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation admission prices are: Adults £8.15, Concessions £7.25, Six Month Pass £10.00, Children (under 16) and carers free.
• The Bowes Museum is open daily from 10.00am.
• The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk.