The Legacy of Lilly Pulitzer

The amazing Lilly Pulitzer died yesterday at the age of 81. She was the socialite turned designer who created the tropical and palm print shift dress that became a timeless style classic, one of those items that appears in designer collections and High Street ranges every single season.

Lilly created the original dresses by happy accident, she wanted prints that could disguise orange juice and fruit stains, and used a range of fabulous, over the top prints, and beautiful bright colours to create dresses that were fun and yet retained a simple elegance. By the 1960s her star was in ascendance as Jackie Kennedy herself was photographed wearing her designs.

Lily’s beautiful, yet informal dresses have become a byword for summer style. Her legacy is not to be dismissed. Think of your own summer wardrobe and you will probably own something in a tropical palm print, whether it be a dress or something else. Each year the style returns, it seems we all like to add a little bit of sultry tropical summer to our lives. Lilly’s original designs are now much sought after at fashion auctions and online sales, and much copied, with Sex and the City showcasing a host of Lilly styled designs. There is no doubt that Lilly Pulitzer will live on through the wonderful gift of sunshine she added to our clothes lives.

The Legacy of Lilly at Wallis

Orange Palm Print Dress Price: £45.00 click to visit Wallis

Pink Shift Dress Price: £45.00 click to visit Wallis

Blue Printed Dress Price: £45.00 click to visit Wallis

Purple Halter Neck Dress Price: £40.00 click to visit Wallis

Multi-Coloured Printed Maxi Dress Price: £55.00 click to visit Wallis

Pink Palm Print Maxi Dress Price: £60.00 click to visit Wallis

White Palm Print Dress Price: £40.00 click to visit Wallis


Valentino:Master of Couture is coming to Somerset House

I am super excited by an exhibition that is going to be hitting London, specifically Somerset House, this November. Valentino:Master of Couture is a major new exhibition that will celebrate the life and work of the legendary designer, with a focus on his glorious haute couture pieces, as worn by some of the world’s most famous and beautiful women, including Julia Roberts, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sophia Loren. With dresses well known from red carpet appearances, to couture that has graced the world’s biggest and best couture catwalks, and with the special appearance of privately commissioned pieces, this exhibition promises to bring all the beauty and elegance of the Valentino to a captive audience.

Lorenzo Agius Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius

The list of dresses that will make up part of this exhibition are breathtaking. Think Julia Roberts in the classic 1982 vintage black and white Valentino on the night she won her Oscar for Erin Brockovich, or Jackie Onassis in a simple white shift dress that she wore to marry Aristotle in 1968. Another highlight is sure to be a royal wedding dress worn by one of the chicest of Princesses, the pearl encrusted ivory creation worn by Princess Marie- Chantal of Greece in 1995. And then, there are of course, Valentino red dresses to admire and adore, the iconic creations of a master atelier.

What I really love is how this exhibition is being organised. Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries will be transformed into a catwalk with a difference, the visitors will be ‘models’ parading along a 60 metre runway admiring the audience, who are all Valentino couture clad, providing a visual history of the label from the 1950s to today. This will be thematic rather than chronological, items will be grouped together under categories like colour, or volume.The exhibition will also offer a behind the scenes look at the work of the atelier through films that have been especially created for the exhibition, along with a chance to view the Valentino Garavani virtual museum.

Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius

Valentino has himself said ‘…Each of these designs have a beautiful story…’ and Somerset House is certainly a beautiful setting, meaning that together this will be the fashion event of the winter, a much anticipated fashion exhibition for lovers of couture and all things exquisite. I personally can’t wait for it’s arrival.

The Valentino:Master of Couture Exhibition will run from November 29th 2012 to March 3rd 2013

Tickets cost £12.50.

For further information, click here.

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova 2012 copyright Cathleen Naundorf