Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lilly Pulitzer 50th Anniversary Jubilee Retrospective

November 6, 2008
“Pulitzer’s Prize”

Last evening, New York Socialites came out in droves despite the inclement weather to celebrate the Lilly Pulitzer 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Party and unveiling Jubilee Retrospective. The event, which took place at Parsons the New School of Design on 5th Ave. (at 13th Street), was sponsored by Pink by Yellowglen Champagne and Hendrick’s Gin. In celebration of the Jubilee, Steinway & Sons produced a limited-edition Lilly-printed piano and Jeep Wrangler manufactured a limited-edition Lilly-print vehicle certain to stop traffic.

Most of the party goers were decked out in Lilly’s looks (vintage and new) and Pucci or “Lillyesque” and “Pucciesque” garb. Others (including me), decided to forgo the bright prints and summer frocks choosing more typical New York attire suitable for a rainy, November night. As I entered the venue, I strolled down a pink, plush carpet leading to a wall of photos supporting framed Pulitzer prints and quotes from designers complimenting Lilly. Diane von Furstenberg’s quote states: LILLY PULITZER… PALM BEACH AT ITS BEST! A TIMELESS AMERICAN STYLE! And Michael Kors’ quote says: WITH HER BOLD PRINTS AND SUNNY COLORS, LILLY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT PALM BEACH STYLE. It certainly felt like a Palm Beach party (or at least the Hamptons!) as Lilly’s prints were everywhere and not just on the guests -- mannequins were posed throughout the scene dressed in her tropical brights. The raspberry gin drinks felt like summer and of course the Hibiscus printed piano helped to set the mood!

Among the expected guests were some of Lilly’s greatest supporters including: Liz Lange, Mary McFadden, Arnold Scaasi, Mario Buatta, Pamela Fiori, Amy Chan, Chris and Grace Meigher, Holly Dunlap, Gillian Minter, Bruce Addison, Muffie and Sherrell Aston, Geoffrey Bradfield, Somers Farkas (who was wearing stunning printed caftan) and Jonathan Farkas, Rachel and Ara Hovnanian, Christian Leone, Todd Romano, Rod Winterrowd, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Betty Sherrill, Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman, Kate Allen, Amy Hoadley, Elisabeth Saint-Armand, Libby Fitzgerald, Meredith Melling Burke, Ellen Gilbertson and Mark Gilbertson, Hilary Dick, Tara Rockefeller, Jill Roosevelt, Celerie Kemble, Alexandra Lebenthal and Justin Tranter of the glam rock group “Semi Precious Weapons” (who wore one of Lilly’s jackets turned inside out). I also spotted Jeffrey Banks (CFDA Emeritus Board Member and Parsons Alum) and designers Adrienne Vittadini and Steven Stolman. Unfortunately, I never did see Lilly. Additionally, Tim Marshall (Dean of Parsons the New School) and Sheila C. Johnson (Chair - Parsons Board of Governors) were in attendance. Ms. Johnson is also ambassador for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Shop at Lilly Pulitzer (1020 Madison) through November 12 and 10% of all proceeds will be donated to Parsons in support of a CARE project helping female Guatemalan artisans to develop sustainable businesses.

Before I headed out, I ducked into a room full of ebony mannequins standing like soldiers, wearing Lilly’s dresses. I felt as if I was in a gallery studying paintings as I meandered through the rows admiring each piece. As I came to the end of the display, I could see through the front window a long line of hopefuls patiently waiting to be allowed into the building. I was glad I came early and even happier that I didn’t have to linger outside in the rain! Loyal fans I’d say. Clearly, pink and green reign supreme. Happy Anniversary.

-Stacy Lomman

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