LOTS of love for Lilly...where it all began....
Growing up, all the girls in my family (Mom, Sister, Me) were lovers of everything-Laura Ashley: the adorable floral cotton dresses, the prim wool hats, the quirky and iconic "dungarees", the colorful wallpaper and bedding (how many people in your dorm had the ever-popular 'Bramble' green and periwinkle Laura Ashley comforter?)...
|Laura Ashley 'Bramble' bedding...|
...we used to joke that we could open a small Laura Ashley boutique out of our storage closet in the basement! We were shamelessly over-the-top fans.
|Typical 1980's Laura Ashley dress...|
Perhaps this is where my love for girly design was born...and continues with Lilly Pulitzer.
In fact, in lieu of proper window treatments, I decorated my daughter's nursery window with little Lilly shift dresses.
As mentioned in my prior post..."some of you are likely thinking, 'Enough Lilly already!' ...too preppy...too 'Southern'... too frilly... too girly....too many summers ago....but I have a weakness for anything so colorful, whimsical, energetic, original, and genius in design..."
|Little Lilly dresses adorn the window in my daughter, Caroline's room...|
I have decided in my next life, I would like to be a Lilly Pulitzer fabric designer. Yes, that's it. In addition to my admiration of her clothing designs over the years, I love the artistry of her work.
Particularly after witnessing the amazing creativity showcased in the wall and ceiling murals (hand painted by their team of fabric designers) in her boutique dressing rooms (see photos below), I have decided for sure...THAT is what I would like to be when I grow up.
Sadly, the world said farewell to this iconic designer at the age of 81, on Sunday, April 7, 2013.
A brief history of her story, from the Lilly website...
From the Lilly website (continued)...
"Lilly Pulitzer the clothing label was born. The "classic shift dress" shot to international fame and demand when Lilly's old schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy née Bouvier, now the First Lady, was photographed wearing a "Lilly" while on vacation. "Jackie wore one of my dresses – it was made from kitchen curtain material – and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business." – Essentially Lilly, A Guide to Colorful Entertaining
To this day, we design every print and pattern in our print studio. We start each season with a color palette (color is yes, always bright and spill-proof) and develop prints and patterns that bring the brand to life. Our designers sketch, draw, marker, watercolor, and block print every tid-bit of the line. It's all original artwork, and we make sure to carry on the tradition of hiding LILLY in every print.
We find inspiration everywhere. From traveling to Palm Beach, visiting museums, strolling through gardens and hopefully spending days on the beach...the print team is constantly exploring and painting. It is unheard of to have a team of artists on-hand...and that is exactly why we do it! We love our prints and treat them like royalty.
Once we set the color and theme for the season, the print team starts creating. It is a true artists dream. Paint is flying! As we finish each print, we hang them on one big long wall. After a few weeks of pure creative energy, and a lot of editing we choose our favorite prints for the season. We get into hysterics naming each one – it is one of our favorite moments, tears of laughter!"
Below, are some links to some interesting articles about the life history of this legendary designer...
Vintage photos, ads, and designs...(these are my favorites!)
|Jackie Kennedy on the 1961 cover of LIFE magazine in a Lilly shift dress...|
|Lilly Pulitzer with her daughters in 1963|
|1964 Lilly Pulitzer ad...|
|Vintage photo of Lilly Pulitzer in her store|
|1971 Lilly Pulitzer ad...|
|Lilly Pulitzer in 1971 Vogue ad...|
Vintage! I love the feminine, delicate-yet-dynamic, and distinctive nature of her early designs...
I am *pretty* sure the following FABRIC DESIGNS are from her vintage collection...
Her recent exploration into interiors and textiles...
Some whimsical Lilly renderings for invites, fabrics, etc...
Some pics of the amazing dressing rooms and boutiques around the country... When I discovered the hand-painted floor-to-ceiling murals in our local Legacy Village (Cleveland) boutique, I was completely blown away by the artistic talent of their fabric designers...
What makes each design special is a particular 'nod' to the character or flavor of each city (i.e. NYC landmarks, Maryland Crabs, Charlottesville Monticello, D.C. monuments, Texas cowboy boots, Florida seashells, beach umbrellas, etc.)...Additionally, they injected added personality into some of the rooms with hand-painted quirky/inspirational quotations. They even went so far as to incorporate 3D elements such as actual seashells, oranges, packaging popcorn painted turquoise, colorfully painted oars, ropes, etc. into the designs...
|Lilly + Pantone = 2 of my FAVS in the world of design!|
|Take a guess: In which state is THIS dressing room?|
|How is this for an original take on the (ombre) chevron stripe!?|
|Had to include this fun drink recipe...|