April 7, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer, 1931-2013

When I was growing up, there was a Lilly Pulitzer shop near our house that I just loved. In addition to selling the clothes, the shop also sold the signature fabrics. imageThis was when Lilly was popular the first time around. It was always such fun to look at the brightly coloured and cleverly designed fabrics and pick Lilly’s name out of the pattern. image

I thought it would be such fun to make a patchwork quilt out of all of the fun prints. Alas, I didn’t know how to sew (then) and it never got made.  imageFast forward a number of years and I came across a stash of fabulous Lilly prints, and snatched them all up!  I made pillows and pennants, and even a shower curtain in the Racy Lacy print! shower curtain

Each print had a name, and it was usually a clever pun on the images in the print, like this print called “Tail Lights”.image The prints were colourful and bright, mainly pink and green with motifs that reflected the affluent East Coast life that Lilly knew. image

I had a chance to see some of the Lilly Pulitzer furniture at High Point Market last April, but I think that the line’s been discontinued.

It was emblematic of the fabrics – fun, whimsical and bright!  And look! There’s the quilt I wanted to make, all of those years ago.

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau changed the way many people dressed, made cheerful clothing and was an unintentional icon. imageRIP


  1. Meg and now, page two...

  2. Those prints are pure sunshine. And I bet she's whipping up some fab pants for St. Peter right about now.

  3. I too loved Pulitzer, being from Fla. her beautiful prints were always around. May she rest in Peace. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  4. Lilly had a summer store in Petoskey, Michigan, in the late 60's. I would park my VW bug in front at night and sketch the dress designs then sew my own. At that time I could afford the fabric but not the completed clothing. Her colors were pure happiness!

  5. Thank you for your tribute to Lilly. I was fortunate to be there in the 60's and still have
    quite a collection, some of them vintage, altho have given some away to friends. One of my friends wore one for a beach wedding! Lilly's prints just make one feel happy. Hope our weather will be warm enough to wear them soon.

  6. Sometimes people leave us, and it's not just a death, it's the close of a cultural moment or a part of history. 'Tis so with Lilly. There were so many touch points tied to her, and one your readers noted: her things are handed down to others. I used to go into her shop in Bethesda, Maryland, even if I wasn't buying anything, just because the environment was so darn cheerful. This past winter, her shop window was full of hot pink and lime green ornaments, with things to buy, and how could you not want to walk in on a cold winter night and biting wind? She gave us...joy.

  7. Lilly's work is timeless! A little ray of sunshine in our world...... thankyou for such a lovely post!
    best wishes


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