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The Gender and Women's Studies Collection

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Portfolio of Lady Duff-Gordon's original designs: wearing apparel for the women of America
(1917)

[Foreword] What this great fashion creator is doing for American women,   p. 7 PDF (536.4 KB)


Page 7

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T HE intimate, friendly talk which you have just read
on the preceding page is characteristic of Lady Duff-
Gordon's attitude toward her work. She strikes a
human note which goes much deeper than mere clothes.
Clothes in their relation to woman's life, their inevitable
influence upon life, this is the thought always back of the
wonderful work she does.
In her rare understanding of this difficult woman-
problem she stands almost alone in the world of fashion.
Where other style creators are influenced by a decree of
fashion, a whim or a fad of the hour, Lad Duff-Gordon's
exceptional insight carries her far beyond that point, enables
her to create a fashion to fit the need. Always unmistak-
ably smart and modish, on the one hand, and on the other,
always bearing that fascinating mark of individuality which
makes her designs so satisfying to the wearer.
The genius that could form a mental picture of how a
countess should appear at the coronation ceremonies, or
how a debutante should look at her first ball, can see as well
how a business girl should be dressed at her desk or behind
her counter, and how wives and mothers should look in
their own homes.
Women everywhere are recognizing the helpfulness of
the plan which Lady Duff-Gordon began putting into
action last Fall. And women everywhere have written us
letters of appreciation and gratitude.
Among the thousands of such letters which have been
flooding our Lady Duff-Gordon Department for months,
were a vast number which asked for designs for stout women,
both young and mature. These came so thick and fast
that at last we decided we must have stout designs in our
Lady Duff-Gordon Book.
You knew she Would design for you what you needed-
you believing women who had written and asked her to do
it. We knew, because we have seen how her very heart is
in her work. The token of our faith is shown in this port-
folio, in several of the most charming models it has ever
been our pleasure to present-and each specially designed
for stout figures. The' are so lovely that we anticipate
inquiries from your envious slender sisters, asking for these
stout models in their own sizes.
In this new portfolio you will find also Millinery,
Separate Blouses. Separate Skirts, and Corsets of Lady Duff-
Gordon's designing. "If they need these other things in
my designs to make them better dressed - and happier -
to be sure, they shall have them. How many blouses shall
we need, do you think?" And the busy fingers set them-
selves to work.
Have you believed that she has really tried to help you,
this great genius of the fashion world? You to whom,
miles away, she is but a name - have you had the faith to
accept her judgment and act upon her advice? If you have,
we believe that you are today far happier, more at peace in
your own mind, than you were a few months ago. And
with the utmost confidence, we suggest that you lay all the
burden of your clothes problems and responsibilities upon
her shoulders. She will carry such burdens happily for all
the women these United States can hold. Even now
while you are choosing your Summer frocks, she is planning
new things for your winter comfort and pleasure. Planning
to help you even more than she has so far, covering more
of the troublesome details of your wardrobe. "I do so
want them to have everything just right," she says, and you
may be sure no detail will be overlooked.
For our part, we are trying to do our share of the
co-operating. We believe that nowhere in the world is it
possible for you to find designs which would please you so
well as these which Lady Duff-Gordon has created for
you. And we believe that nothing in the way of materials
is too good to be used in their fashioning. So, from the
greatest importers, manufacturers and wholesale houses in
the country, we have chosen materials of the highest quality
that money can buy; fabrics which, until now, you have
found only in garments of much higher-sometimes double
the price.
We have pictured these wonderful designs in reproduc-
tions from the most beautiful photographs that skillcould pro-
duce. They are on living models and look exactly as they
are in real life. Some of them are shown in actual colors,
reproduced from a big, expensive oil painting done for us
by the well known illustrator, Simon Werner.
The cover was designed and painted by another famous
artist. Willy Pogany, and illustrates one of Lady Duff-
Gordon's own quaint terms of speech. "When Spring comes
dancing over the little hills."  All of these things have
been months in the making and we present the finished
work to you with keenest pleasure. We have endeavored
to make it a fitting setting for these exquisite expressions of
Lady Duff-Gordon's genius. We hope you will find
pleasure in accepting it, and enjoyment in its contents.
Finall. that there may be no disappointment, but
only helpfulness and satisfaction through any transaction
you may have with our Lady Duff- Gordon Department,
we wish to call your attention to our unqualified guarantee
as given on page 5 of this portfolio and to Lady Duff-
Gordon's personal guarantee, as well, also shown on that
page. Any purchase you make may be returned for ex-
change or your money will be refunded upon request, if
you are not entirely satisfied in every particular.
SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO.
Page Seven


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