Lilly Pulitzer: Socialite turned Fashion Icon

by Debbie Wells

lilly book
A few years ago, I read a magazine article by Victoria Crosby about Kathryn Livingston’s book, Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend”.  Intrigued by the idea that a Long Island  woman transcended from wealthy socialite to iconic fashion designer, I contacted Victoria to find out more. Victoria was kind enough to introduce me to Kathryn Livingston and I arranged for her to speak at a local historical society event about Lilly’s life and career.
The author (shown below) is as elegant as her subject as she tells the story of Lilly’s life, which is as colorful as her designs. She was linked to the Phipps family by her mother’s second marriage to prominent race-horse owner Ogden Phipps.

Later, she became a part of  Palm Beach society and turned her unique take on the summer dress into a fashion craze that has become an American classic. Her bright floral designs are instantly recognizable and are now a successful brand still popular today.
Kathryn Livingston has agreed to present her lecture about Lilly Pulitzer again. This time, she will do a talk and book signing at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills on Saturday, June 13 at 2pm. To add to the sophisticated summer atmosphere, the Art League is also hosting an iced tea tasting with Farrah La Ronde-Hutchison, founder of Gaia’s Essence. Admission is free.





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