Lilly Pulitzer: The Woman Who Changed Fashion And Challenged Society


Have you ever found yourself completely devoted to a brand?

When I was 12, my mother gave me a hand-me-down. The dress was blue with white and green flowers; she had owned it since the early 80s, and it was still in fabulous condition. It zipped; I twirled for my mother, and she said, “Oh, how I love you in a Lilly dress.” Since then, the Lilly Pulitzer brand has permeated my life; I graduated college in a Lilly dress, I used a Lilly dress to inspire my own weight loss, and have gotten Lilly gifts almost every birthday and holiday since. Many who know me well associate my sundresses with Lilly Pulitzer. Because of the brand’s constant presence in my life, I was deeply saddened to find out that Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau passed away yesterday.

In almost every commemoration that has been posted about Lilly, they have detailed the long-famed story of her juice stand, the stain splotches that led to her colorful prints, and her rise as an iconic designer. I get something different out of Lilly Pulitzer’s story. I see the story of a woman who maintained a conservative modesty while challenging and changing the rules of fashion, a rule-breaker, a role model.

Consider this: Lilly Pulitzer, then Lilly McKim, eloped when she was 21 to marry Peter Pulitzer Jr. She started her own thriving fashion business with poppy beach colors at a time when the industry preferred humble hues and was so successful that the Palm Beach style is nearly equated to her name. She, after having three children, divorced her husband in 1969, then remarried.

During a time when the role of women was in global debate, Lilly Pulitzer challenged the status quo while building herself a fashion empire. She was a risk taker, and her leaps of faith paid off.

While Lilly Pulitzer was not directly involved with making the designs anymore when she passed, her influence can be seen in many of the prints currently available. You can even find her signature hidden in every print. Lilly Pulitzer continues to live on, both in her namesake and in the generations of designers inspired by her work.

“That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.” — Lilly Pulitzer

  • Question-Holocaustism

    the ultimate way to challenge society is to relentlessly unmask the holocaust fraud.

    Freedom of Speech has been brutally suppressed by Murderous Jewish Bolshevik terrorists in Europe, where freedom fighters are put in jail for years and tortured by Jews for questioning the Holocaust myth.

    • Kevin Boyd

      So genius, all the eyewitness accounts, the Nuremberg trials, the pictures, hell even the German government documents were all faked? Was it all a Hollywood production? Or are you one of those people who think that the Holocaust was a fraud but the glorious Nazis should killed more Jews anyway?

      You’re a sick bastard.

      I say this as someone who has publicly criticized European Holocaust denial laws in the past. I’ll let you figure that one out. When you do, you might learn a little something about freedom.

      • Gullible-Whites

        When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Jewish Bolshevik terrorists had already slaughtered 50 million White East Europeans. Lenin, Trotsky, Kamanev, Zinoviev, Yagoda, Sverdlov, Kaganovich – all murderous Jews.

        By 1939, Nazis realized that murderous Jews wanted to repeat genocide in Western Europe. Nazis were decent middle class white people, hard working, humble, who wanted to save their families from Jewish marauders, Jewish Bankers, Jewish Press.

        But Jews wanted to destroy. As they have for 4000 years murdered countless tribes. Including in Old testament. Holomyth was all lies to indoctrinate, humiliate, subjugate white people. Like Catholic Church called Earth flat.

        Jews taught White kids, white families to hate themselves, their heritage, their people, their culture. Whites must wake up. Fast. before Jews destroy us all. Urgent reading: , , ,