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Monday, April 8, 2013

Gilding the Lilly

As you probably heard, grande dame of Palm Beach fashion, Lilly Pulitzer, passed away over the weekend at age 81.  Lilly's iconic prints and classic sheaths revolutionized the fashion industry with their signature vivid colors and patterns.  Her designs first gained notoriety in the 1960's and represent quintessential 1960's Palm Beach glamour, a time and place in which I would have loved to live.

Palm Beach Story: Lilly Pulitzer Is Bizarrely Fascinating

I bought my first Lilly dress for a deb party back in high school in the late 1990's- it was green with alligators, and I wore it with my first pair of Jack Rogers.  I felt very avant garde wearing it in my hometown, and I think even I received a few crazy looks (from people who didn't "get it," of course).  

When I went to college, it turns out my roommate loved Lilly just as much as I did.  This was before Lilly started making bedding and such, so we ordered bolts of fabric-by-the-yard from C. Orrico in Palm Beach and had a seamstress make duvet covers made for our dorm room.  I wish I had a picture of it or knew what happened to that bedding!

The Lilly brand has taken on many forms and iterations over the past few years after its resurgence in popularity.  One of my most exciting moments with MoS occurred a few years ago.  When Lilly Pulitzer Home was launching its furniture line at Market, the folks from Lilly and HFI, after seeing selections on MoS Marketplace, came to my house and basically bought my whole inventory of vintage accessories to use to style the Lilly Pulitzer Home showroom.  This was such an encouraging time for me with regard to MoS Marketplace- it validated this endeavor I had spent so much time on, and it made me think about making MoS Marketplace more than a hobby.

Today, although I don't wear much Lilly, her designs are still a part of my life.  In my little girl's nursery, I used vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric swatches for this DIY "art" project.  

Toddler size Lilly dresses fill my little girl's closet and make me so excited for spring and warmer weather!  At the risk of sounding like my mom, and I can't wait to dress our two girls in matching Lilly dresses (at least it's not Laura Ashley like we had to wear!).  

Lilly Pulitzer has made an indelible mark on fashion, and her designs have brought joy to so many lives, including my own.  She will be missed but likely never forgotten!


Cheryl Luckett said...

Excellent post Sarah! Love Lilly P. She will be missed.

Cheryl Luckett said...

Excellent post Sarah! Love Lilly P.
She'll be missed but remembered through her work.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

I have been nuts for Lilly for many years. Lilly dresses were my "uniform" during warm weather and I also dress my little girl in them now. The MoS connection to Lilly must have been so exciting.

Katharine @ SouthernBourbonMountains said...

I had the same first lilly print!!! My brother bought me a dress from C. Orrico with spaghetti straps!!!! Great post!

GRC Ltd said...

Love those little girl dresses!! Lily was/is a style icon and heaven for little girls.
Can't wait for your new little one to meet the world.

Betsy said...

Such a good most about Lilly- brought back lots of memories! I can't remember my first Lilly (that's terrible!), but my favorite is the blue/pink pineapple print halter style. I still wear it now!

Kimberly Lemmon said...

What a nice tribute. I hadn't yet heard of her passing - she will influence fashion and design for generations to come.

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