April 8, 2013
The Contemporary Prepster: Lilly Pulitzer, 1931-2013
She popularized the shift, and she hosted parties barefoot. Lilly Pulitzer died yesterday in Florida, at age 81, leaving behind an incredible legacy of bright, colorful, tropical print dresses and clothes that excited and enchanted young women to enter her stores.
I've always loved the story* of how it all began: In the late 1950s, the Palm Beach socialite had time to spare and a well-to-do husband who owned citrus groves, so she opened an orange juice stand near the island's main shopping street. Because Pulitzer needed to hide all the juice stains on her clothes, instead of just putting on an apron, she asked her seamstress to make some sleeveless dresses in colorful fruit prints, and thus, the Lilly dress was born.