Sunday, April 7, 2013

R.I.P. Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, the socialite who turned designer to combat boredom and discontent more than 50 years ago, died today at her Palm Beach, Florida, home at age 81. Her company's Facebook page issued this statement.

"Lilly has been a true inspiration to us, and we will miss her," the statement said. "In the days and weeks ahead, we will celebrate all that Lilly meant to us. Lilly was a true original who brought together generations through her bright and happy mark on the world."

In search of a hobby after suffering a bout of depression in her late twenties, Pulitzer at first opened an orange juice stand in 1958, and then she began developing brightly colored and boldly patterned shifts and blouses to help hide the stains created by her new enterprise. Her clothing was an immediate hit and continues to be to this day. The world will miss her. She created happy fashion.

I found her fashions aspirational - they made me yearn for summer, color, and the leisurely lifestyle that they represented. I'll always think pink and green when I hear her name. Yes, I love the preppy look - always have. May she rest in peace.

Photos courtesy of CNN and the Washington Post

12 comments:

Nemo said...

She made the most beautiful bikinis! A la Emilio Pucci without the price tag.

Charleston Girl said...

Google her now, Nemo. There are some fabulous photos on the Web, including a swim suit slit "to there."

lovethescents said...

Oh how sad! Very sad indeed. Love her Beachy <3

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Lovethescents,

Very sad. Eighty-one is pretty young these days.

wendy said...

i'm very sorry to hear this. we've lost so many people lately...i remember when i used to wear lilly's pappagallo purses in grade school, i wish i still had all the reversable covers and that purse. i noticed they're going to have a lilly store at my local mall. the store looks really big. well, charleston girl and all wonderful people on here, time to log off and get ready for another work week. good night!! xo.

Charleston Girl said...

We have, Wendy. I feel like heaven needed new blood.

Have a good week!

Sheree Shatsky said...

Loved Lilly. Farewell.

Dolin said...

This is a very sad news especially to the fashion industry. May she rest in peace, she will always be an inspiration to a lot of young people who are aspiring to become a designer someday.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Sheree,

A lot of us loved her. Her obit was on the front page of the New York Times today. Few get that kind of recognition.

Charleston Girl said...

Very true, Dolin. Her look was distinctive, and she followed a path she created. That is inspiring.

Mandy said...

I'm a new fan to Lilly, but I absolutely love her line. The story of how she began making clothes is such an inspiration to me. Her hardwork was rewarded by much deserved success. She left behind some pretty amazing things :)

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Mandy,

There was a really good obit in today's NY Times. It seems she wasn't really involved in the company for the recent past. Her influence never died!