As we enter warmer weather, my mind turns to colorful sundresses. Those delightful little shift dresses in kapow colors that make you smile and only need a pair of flip flops and a tan to finish off the look! Well, the essence of that dress can be traced back to one person—one word: Lilly.
Lilly Pulitzer, as many of you might have read Sunday, died at 81 in her home in Florida. She left behind such a colorful and happy legacy that we can’t help but smile and thank her for adding a bit of fun into our wardrobes when we needed it most.
The Lilly empire actually began when she set up a little orange juice stand in Palm Beach, to turn a coin on all the citrus trees on her property. As legend has it, Lilly made her first dress out of splashy colors to hide the juice stains she got on her clothes while working at the stand. From that first simple sleeveless shift, she launched a fashion trend that extended all the way to the White House— Jackie Kennedy was often spotted wearing these comfy, colorful shift dresses. And a fashion obsession was launched!
Here is Lilly in her original Palm Beach store just off Worth Ave. Love it! Notice how all the shifts are in her trademark colorful prints? If someone called to order one, she’d ask “Do you want it mild or wild”? I’ll take mine WILD, please!!
Good gracious, I NEED that Lilly Lugger—don’t you?
For a certain set (of a decidedly preppy turn) your summer wardrobe wasn’t complete without a couple of these functional, yet fun dresses. And the best thing about them? They did mother/daughter combos! My holy vintage shopping grail will be a mother daughter set of Lilly dresses. ONE DAY!
Here is Lilly with her two daughters—in matching ensembles of course! Vanity Fair called her Palm Beach’s Barefoot Princess, but we just like to call her fabulous.
Her delicious dresses were a sunny spot on 1960s fashion and beyond. And her peppy prints were only matched by her delightful bon mots, like:
- “Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.”
- “It’s always summer somewhere.”
- “Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live.”
- “That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.”
- “Being happy never goes out of style.”
I’d like to have any one of these needle-pointed on a pillow!
And three cheers for Alix for making the pictures extra fabulous–xo!