Even the discerning Lady Mary would have loved an Edwardian dress by the famous designer who was aboard the ill-fated ship.
Titanic Pigeon Forge Exterior
Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, might not be a household name to modern fashionistas, but she was one of the most influential dress designers of the Edwardian era, with upper-crust clients that included royalty. Her London-based Maison Lucile had branches in New York, Chicago, and Paris. Known to experiment with daring hemlines, the designer was traveling to America on business, accompanied by her husband and maid, when the three boarded Titanic. They survived, but the aristocratic couple had to testify at an inquest after the disaster and answer for being among only 12 passengers in a lifeboat designed to hold 40.
You can see an impressive collection of Lady Duff Gordon’s elegant designs—part of an exhibit called “The Amazing Women of Titanic”—at Titanic Pigeon Forge through November 2018. (Reservations are recommended; make them at titanicpigeonforge.com or by calling 800-381-7670.)
Catch a glimpse of what a Titanic dress might’ve looked like aboard a replica of the ship, complete with the grand staircase we all remember Jack and Rose descending in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. And this just in, Titanic super fans: You can even get married on that staircase.
Here’s a preview of the dresses on exhibit, many of which belong to journalist and historical consultant Randy Bryan Bigham:
Dressing for Dinner
The Titanic Pigeon Forge collection includes fashions from an era when the upper classes dressed formally for the evening meal. No TV dinners aboard Titanic.
While Maison Lucile created everything from day wear and lingerie to perfume, the fashion house was best known for show-stoppers like these.
Make an Entrance and an Exit
The back of this dress is as detailed and ornate as the front, featuring delicate, colorful beadwork and touches of color against a neutral background.
Have a Closer Look
It’s hard to imagine wearing a dress with as much intricate detail as the designer put into gowns like this one.
Set in Ivory
The front of the dress is embellished with pearls and lace, while the back makes a statement all its own.
See the Back
A dramatic train embellishes the back of this gown, complementing the pearls and lace on the bodice, skirt, and sleeves.
Speaking of Pearls and Lace
Can you even begin to imagine how many hours of handwork must have gone into detail like this—or how many pearls and yards of lace?