Pulitzer Brings Palm Beach Prep to the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History

No designer personifies Palm Beach like Lilly Pulitzer, and no exhibit showcases Pulitzer’s life and style like the LILLY exhibit at the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History in Boynton Beach.

In the 1950s, a young New York socialite opened a juice stand in Palm Beach. Upset by the citrus stains that spotted her clothing, she created dresses and outfits in brightly colored designs to camouflage the stains. More than fifty years later, Lilly Pulitzer is still a Palm Beach staple, though known more for her clothing than juice these days.

With fabric blooming in bright, bold, and unique prints, Lilly’s designs ultimately became the unofficial uniform for the affluent, and Lilly’s signature pink and green colors emerged as the banner of the authentic Palm Beach lifestyle. In 1959, Lilly became president of her own fashion company, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. The initial style of the Lilly clothing designs were simple shift dresses that appealed to a wealthy client base that included Lilly’s boarding school friend, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Others who wore the Lilly designs were various descendants of renowned families including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys. Soon, Lilly became known as the “Queen of Prep,” and the company thrived with more than 30 stores across the United States. The company closed in 1984, but was revived in 1992.

The LILLY exhibit is scheduled to be on display August 3, 2010–May 31, 2011 at the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History. The exhibit will include vintage Lilly Pulitzer pieces such as clothing, home décor, accessories, and more, plus various educational programs about design.

Owners of vintage Lilly items are invited to loan them along with photos for display in the exhibition. To donate items or for more information, call (561) 243-2662.