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