The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2013 > Lucile - Fashion Designer, Titanic Survivor

Lucile - Fashion Designer, Titanic Survivor


14 April 2012 - 6 January 2013 


This exhibition featured a dress designed by Lucile which spotlights both the glamorous and dangerous worlds of 1912.

The fascinating story behind this exquisite wedding dress was revealed. Apart from Lucile’s escape from the Titanic in April, 1912, the exploits of the bride and groom on their honeymoon in June 1912 are equally incredulous. 

This is a story of pioneering aviation and the bravery of a bride and groom, as well as an appreciation of a beautiful gown created by the foremost fashion designer of the time. Lady Duff Gordon, known as ‘Lucile’, had fashion houses in London, Paris and New York and was the first designer to stage fashion parades using beautiful models. 

This creation, a seductive mix of shimmering soft satin, pearls and diaphanous layers exemplifies her 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 Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.