Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend

ISBN 10: 047050160X / ISBN 13: 9780470501603
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Synopsis: The real story behind a very private American fashion icon—Lilly Pulitzer

Today, Lilly Pulitzer's iconic brand of clean-cut, vibrantly printed clothes called ""Lillys"" can be spotted everywhere. What began decades ago as a snob uniform in Palm Beach became a general fashion craze and, later, an American classic. In contrast to the high visibility of her brand, Lilly Pulitzer has largely kept her tumultuous personal story to herself. Bursting forth into glossy fame from a protected low-key world of great wealth and high society, through heartbreaks, treacheries, scandals, and losses, her life, told in detail here for the first time, is every bit as colorful and exciting as her designs.

  • Offers a close-up of Palm Beach society, replete with tropical mischief, reckless indulgences and blatant infidelities as well as fascinating stories about the Pulitzer and Phipps families and their world of eccentrics, high achievers, intermarriages, and glamorous trendsetters
  • Takes a fresh look at the Roxanne Pulitzer scandal and the atmosphere that fed it, and other episodes involving Lilly Pulitzer's family and social circle
  • Traces the many ups-and-downs in Lilly Pulitzer's personal life as well as her business, which suffered a decline in the 1980s before its resurgent transformation into the thriving success it is today
  • Includes 25 black-and-white photographs that bring Lilly Pulitzer's world to life

Lilly is a must read not only for fans of Lilly Pulitzer and her Lilly brand, but for anyone interested in a journey through the world of privilege and the life of a true American original.

From the Inside Flap:

Born into a legendary family surrounded by wealth and privilege, Lilly Pulitzer is an iconoclast who has become a fashion icon. Lilly's trademark colorful shift dresses defined high-society casual chic in the 1960s, and her brand continues to delight and enchant a whole new generation of women today. With Lilly, set against the glittering background of Palm Beach, Kathryn Livingston presents the first biography of this fascinating, complex, remarkable woman.

Always one to opt for the unconventional, Lilly dropped out of college after one semester to become a nurse's aide in Appalachia, then eloped with publishing heir Peter Pulitzer at age twenty and moved full-time to Palm Beach, one of America's most notorious enclaves for the very rich. Peter worked in the orange-growing industry, and Lilly began her career by setting up a fruit juice stand on the famously upscale Worth Avenue. Lilly started designing and wearing simple, colorful dresses to provide comfort while she worked under the hot Florida sun. The exuberant patterns of her shifts, known as Lillys, soon caught the attention of her wealthy patrons. Lillys became the Palm Beach snob uniform and were quickly adopted by her neighbors and socialite customers from all over who wintered in Palm Beach. After Lilly's former schoolmate First Lady Jackie Kennedy was photographed with her family wearing a Lilly in Hyannis Port, seemingly every woman in America wanted to have one.

Lilly Pulitzer is an intensely private person, and her often tumultuous personal life has been touched by more than its share of tragedy and scandal. Lilly examines in depth the many struggles Lilly has endured in her life. Lilly and Peter seemed to be the picture of domestic bliss but Peter's infidelities (revealed during the divorce from his second wife, Roxanne) and constant traveling tore Lilly and Peter apart. After her divorce, Lilly found new love with her second husband, Enrique, a patrician Cuban-American, and they enjoyed several years of happiness, but he died too soon.

Lilly is the story of a devoted mother who worked hard and created a thriving business at a time when most mothers, especially wealthy ones, didn't work. It is a story about exceptional luxury, love, betrayal, despair, and triumph. Featuring rare photos that reveal the guarded world of Lilly Pulitzer and her family and friends, Lilly combines a richly textured true tale of fashion magic and business success with a riveting tour of the lifestyles of the richest and most celebrated people in the spectacular resort known as Palm Beach. Lilly is a uniquely American story.

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Title: Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the...
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