FROM LILIES TO LILLY:
RECAPPING EASTER WEEK.
RECAPPING EASTER WEEK.
After a very busy, and sometimes stressful Holy Week, followed by some amazing church services for the Triduum, I arrived at Easter. As I’ve mentioned before, I host the holiday dinners for my friends, and Easter was no exception.
As the holiday drew near, I pulled out my Mom’s china, along with various serving dishes inherited from other relatives. Items were purchased to put together the place cards, the centerpiece was “figured out,” and soon the table was set. I love to entertain and so I look forward to the holidays, as they provide me with lots of opportunities to do nice things for my friends. This is such a small way to show these people how thankful, and blessed, I am to have them in my life.
The desserts are starting to arrive as well.
Some are rather fun!
As usual, I provided the main dish and a couple of side dishes, while everyone else contributed side dishes and desserts. Everything turned out perfectly and a good time was had by all.
My outfit for Easter: White oxford button down from Jos. A. Banks, navy pants from Izod, belt from Perry Ellis, bow tie from Tommy Hilfiger, yellow sweater vest from Brooks Brothers, yellow/navy/white argyle socks from Brooks Brothers, and my favorite cordovan cap toe shoes.
The rest of my week was relatively calm, as I was fortunate to have a few days off work. I spent some of that time thrift store shopping and those “treasures” will be part of a future post I’m sure. I also was able to stop by Brooks Brothers for a couple of new bow ties.
James Sewell Ballet's performance of "Lover," set to Rodgers and Hart songs.
At the end of the week on Saturday night, I had the opportunity to see my friend Anton dance with the James Sewell Ballet Company. The JSB is one of my favorite dance companies in Minneapolis, and I have seen them perform several times, but this was first time I was able to see Anton dance with them. This was also the first time I was able to see a performance at the still somewhat new Cowles Canter For Dance And Performing Arts.
The Cowles Center For Dance And Performing Arts.
The Cowles Center has a wonderful history explaining how its two structures, the old Masonic Building and the Shubert Theater came together to form the the backbone of this amazing new performance venue. The most fascinating thing for me is how the Schubert Theater was moved two blocks, over 12 days, to it’s present location. At a weight of 5.8 million pounds, the building is the largest structure to ever be moved using rubber tires and is duly noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. A short video clip may be seen here.
My outfit for the ballet: Shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren, navy pants from Izod, belt from Perry Ellis, bow tie from Social Primer, yellow sweater vest from Brooks Brothers, navy and yellow rugby striped socks from Brooks Brothers, and cordovan wingtip shoes.
The JSB performance was amazing, the Cowles Center was beautiful, and I was able to experience an enjoyable and fitting end to my week.
On a sadder note, the final piece that closed out that weekend, was the death of Lilly Pulitzer. Lilly is a household name in most prep circles and instantly brings to mind brightly colored prints that are sure to brighten everyone’s day.
Lilly’s story is wonderful. In the words of Lisa Birnbach, author of The Official Preppy Handbook, “Her story is so funny, so counter-intuitive - she was bored, had kids, opened an orange juice stand.” That truly is a quick synopsis of her life.
She was born Lilly McKim in 1931 to socialite parents Robert V. McKim and Lilly Bostwick McKim (her mother was an heiress to the Standard Oil fortune), and attended the usual prep schools (she attended Chapin School in New York City, along with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis) and eventually eloped with Herbert (Peter) Pulitzer Jr. in 1950.
The Pulitzers settled in Palm Beach, Florida where Peter owned a number of orange groves. Lilly eventually opened a juice stand on Via Mizner, just off Worth Avenue, and the stage was set for her business to take off. Working every day at the juice stand left the inevitable stains on her clothing. To help camouflage these stains, she designed a sleeveless shift dress made from bright, colorful printed cotton.
Customers at the stand began asking about the dress, and she started selling them from the stand. Soon she was selling more dresses than juice, and decided to shift her energy into making these dresses.
In 1959, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. was officially established with lilly as its president. The company originally catered the the elite socialites but in 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine wearing a “Lilly.” From that moment on public demand for these dresses increased substantially, and the availability of the dresses went more mainstream.
Lilly closed the business in 1984 but it was revived by current President James B. Bradbeer, Jr. and CEO Scott A. Beaumont. Over the years hundreds of people have been touched by the cheerful and fun clothing with the humble beginnings in a juice stand. Lilly will be missed, but her clothing will live on as a testimony to her wonderful style and beauty.