April 9, 2013

lilly pulitzer {10 november 1931 – 7 april 2013}

Lilly Pulitzer is a name that I've never heard before let alone associate with fashion or beauty until two weeks ago when my mom handed over my haul from Macy's and Sephora US. Inside the bag was a very colourful makeup pouch with the badge "Lilly Pulitzer for Estée Lauder". It was a beautiful collaboration of colours between a beauty and fashion giant ... whimsical yet chic at the same time.

That's when I decided to Google Lilly Pulitzer, which sadly isn't available in Malaysia.

Lillian Pulitzer Rousseau, better known as Lilly Pulitzer died Sunday, 7 April 2013 at 81 years old. Called the "Queen of Prep" because the brand was popular with high society, Lilly Pulitzer is an American socialite and fashion designer. She founded Lilly Pulitzer Inc. which produces clothes and wares in her signature bright, colours and floral prints.

The name started with a juice stand in 1959-ish, when 21-year old Lilly eloped with Peter Pulitzer. They escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City for the sun and sand of Palm Beach.

In the shadow of Peter's citrus groves, Lilly opened a juice stand and to disguise the juice stains on her clothing, she had a sleeveless dress made from colourfully printed cotton - soon, she was selling more dresses than juice.

By 1962, Lilly Pulitzer's fashion became popular among socialites and celebrities after Jacqueline Kennedy appeared on LIFE magazine's cover wearing a "Lilly" shift dress. From the 1960s to the early 1980s, Pulitzer's bright, colorful clothes were very popular and were worn by elites such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Caroline Kennedy, and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Whitney families. Today, Lilly Pulitzer Inc. continues to design prints and patterns that are bright and "spill proof".

{ patterns from Lilly Pulitzer }

Today, the company maintains 75 Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores (also known as Via Stores), several company-owned retail stores, sells to independently owned stores and is in major department stores such as Bloomingdales, Belk, Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.

The Lilly Pulitzer makeup pouch I received is part of "Estée Lauder's Spring 2013 Lilly Pulitzer Snapdragon Gift Set" which is available beginning 5 March 2013 exclusively at Macy's with any Estée Lauder purchase of USD $35 or more. 

This particular print was a showstopper from the New York Fashion week runway back in 2003. Lilly decided to reintroduced the Snapdragon print in collaboration with Estée Lauder which offers a bright print featuring dragonflies hidden among the snapdragons which is one of Lilly's favourite flowers.

Rest in peace, Lilly.