Lucile of London: Naughty Lingerie from a Nice British Girl

The Lucile of London Story:  "Lingerie from a Nice British Girl"

By Pikke Allen

MODE CITY:  Lingerie Show - Paris Summer 2013 Collections

The first thing you'll notice about this lingerie, is that the silk, ribbons, lace and sheer elegance of each piece are simply mouth watering. The sensuous experience of this lingerie just in the "looking" is so lovely that one can only imagine what the "wearing" will feel like. But there's more to this lingerie than just another pretty face. The "House of Lucille" was created by an extraordinary women who, at the turn of the century revolutionized women's wear and championed a woman's boudoir and its hidden "secrets"  as something to celebrate.

Imagine if you will, in 1890, only theatrical performers and courtesans were allowed to be sexy and feminine.  Their job was to drive men wild with desire or entertain, be extraordinary beauties and perhaps even show wit and intelligent; their counterparts in a typical 19th century home, were supposed to be chaste, god-fearing and soft-spoken. This extraordinary paradox between the women's roles in private or public life, were further amplified by their choices in lingerie. Enter the infamous "Lucile" aka "Lady Duff Gordan" who realized that a women simply must have more.  She was an independent woman herself and decided she was going to create evening wear and lingerie to meet this need. The result was one of the most successful early 20th century "fashion" brands that became an empire.  Now, for today's woman, her great granddaughter Camilla Blois, has revived the family brand and breathed new life into the "House of Lucile" brand.      

With a creative vision that reaches back into the family archives, the new "Lucile" collection, just a few years young, is a boutique luxury brand that has everyone talking in the lingerie industry.  All of the pieces are hand-made in England and express that lovely combination of "naughty and nice" that is so appealing. Luxury, also describes this lingerie and the price point is comparable to an Italian or French higher end brand.  With gorgeous "boudoir" robes that have wide "Geisha" style sashes or little "knickers" (briefs) with rear positioned bows that tie in the back or sides and a variety of lace and satin bras including my favorite, the "balconette". All of the collection is perfect for weddings trousseaus, or just for your inner "Courtesan" that is waiting to emerge.    

The most intriguing aspect of the collection is that each of the pieces  have stories attached.  The history of many of the "HOUSE OF LUCILE's" creations are connected to famous and scandelous personages who were often featured to much acclaim in the press.  But, this didn't bother Lady Duff, she simply gave the ladies what they wanted (and what their lovers or husbands demanded). Great  actresses, courtesans, queens or reigning beauties of the early 20th century all wore her collections both for evening wear and for their private lives.  Now, you can experience the red lingerie trimmed in black lace favored by the "Queen of Spain" or the gold and black collections named for the "Duchess of Warwick". The pale rose color, inspired by the early 20th century beauty "Elinor Glynn" was created especially to enhance her skin color in "The Shortness of Time" collection. Camilla has captured the poetry and the "just a bit naughty" nature of the English Boudoir in these lovely collections.  I can't wait to see more as she continues to dig deeper into the family archives of treasures in the future.  

With the these gorgeous pieces, you can create your own scandalous affair and celebrate the lives of these extraordinary women who knew they could change their destiny, with just a "touch" of lace at the right moment. 

For more information on the Lucile collection, please see the website at:  


Pikke Allen

Pikke Allen is a Writer and Principal Consultant for her own Content & Branding Atelier. Her passion for all things French is a tribute to her dad, a French teacher and devoted Francophile. She grew up on the left bank in Paris during one of the most fruitful periods in art, fashion and culture in the 1970s. Pikke has been published on a variety of travel platforms including 'Girls Guide to Paris'...(Read More)

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