lillypulitzerinmemory

We mourn the loss of Palm Beach legend Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, who passed away yesterday at 81. Born from practical sensibilities, Lilly began creating simple shift dresses in 1959; the loud tropical prints disguised the citrus stains from her juice stand. Her eponymous line took off after First Lady (and prep school classmate) Jackie Kennedy sported a Lilly dress while on vacation. Lilly’s designs captured the casual joie de vivre associated with island living; they quickly became a resortwear staple and a calling card for the preppy Southampton-to-South Florida set. While the women’s designs were seen as demure staples to pair with pearls and Jack Rogers, the limited collection of menswear through the “Men’s Stuff” label was peacocking at its finest–with her extravagant prints festooning “go-to-hell” blazers and pants. But Lilly the woman was more than her namesake brand. She was known around the Island as a gracious hostess, often throwing impromptu brunches for her many children and grandchildren and their friends. She will be dearly missed, both in the Palm Beach community she called home and by her multitude of fans, who live to carry on her legacy for the next generation.

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