If you stray off the top end of Regent Street or Bond Street you might find yourself in Hanover Square, once the site of a very famous fashion house. Lucy Wallace (born Sutherland) set up a dressmaking establishment in the West End in 1894, after divorcing her first husband.
Following several changes of address and an aspirational marriage to Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, Maison Lucile settled at 23 Hanover Square.
Lucile was an innovator and was particularly good at marketing. She sold matching lingerie; dressed actresses and musical comedy stars on and off-stage; opened a branch in New York; and briefly designed a mail order fashion line for Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The designer was also one of the first to promote dresses with fashion shows, which not only attracted female clients but also gentlemen who came to stare at the beautiful models.
After 1920, Lucile retired from her business but continued to broadcast and write about fashion. She published her autobiography, aptly named Discretions and Indiscretions, not long before her death on 20 April 1975 (78 years ago this week). Despite her contribution to the fashion world, Lucile became best known for having survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.