The NY Times Looks at Lilly: “Hilarilously Preppy” & “Terrifying”

Hello-hello, and welcome to another sodden April day here at the Prepatorium, the downpour glorious in its own right for what we know will ultimately follow.

Regular readers know our fondness for the Critical Shopper columns in the Times, a fabulous feature critiquing retail establishments in the city. Today’s column is loads of fun, a look at the Lilly Pulitzer Mother Ship on Madison from writer Cintra Wilson.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

We love the way Ms. Wilson described her own apparel as she entered the store:

“When I visited the newly refurbished two-story shop on Madison Avenue, I was, as usual, dressed entirely in black, which doesn’t make me self-conscious in most New York locales. But here, it was a bit like attending a children’s birthday party in a latex ski mask.”

Here is the portion referencing ‘hilariously preppy’:

I was charmed by a device invented for the vintage rack: pristine Pulitzers of bygone decades (most around $200) with printed tags reading “If This Dress Could Talk,” and mini-questionnaires below, on which previous owners have handwritten the who-what-where of a memorable moment in the garment’s past. These tend to be unintentionally yet hilariously preppy:

“Summer of ’69 … Sailing on the bay … Mitzi and Tripp … Sunny afternoon.”

“1975 … Martha’s Vineyard … My true love … Champagne and bike riding.”

It sounds like the previous owners of those frocks were in perfect settings for a little Lilly, oui?

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

Ms. Wilson appears a tad puzzled by the men’s section of the store:

“The second floor was also home to some absolutely terrifying sport jackets for men. I imagined it was what Anita Bryant’s linen closet would have looked like after Hurricane Andrew: violent mangos, pinks and aquamarines starched into jackets of such female bedspread intensity they might cause even Ricardo Montalbán to run toward the volcano.”

We’re not understanding; things like this are too bright?

Above left we show the Peter Blazer in Shorely Blue Bizzy Little Fizzy, and above right, that Blazer in Daiquiri Ten Ton Bouquet.

We have a little more from the Times story:

“How does one become as polished, poised, cheerful and sane as Jackie O, while living a life as bent, backward and whitewater-intense as anyone else’s?

The answer might lie in matching the print on your chemise to your daughter’s pedal pushers, your son’s swim trunks, your husband’s Bermuda shorts, your father’s bow tie and your paper cocktail napkins.”


Next, a quick glance at something that surprised us: the Marimekko fall collection.

The photos are via WWD, we simply had nary a clue the firm did ready to wear.  The fall collection was just shown at Danish Fashion Week, but Marimekko has been doing fashion styles for quite some time.  And here we thought it was all about pillows and aprons and cute jackets!

Below, a look from this spring’s collection in silk and linen, we’ll say it’s today’s Pretty in Pink.

Here is the Pixie Dress in a jaunty black, white and pink print, rather appealing IOHO.

We are huge fans of almost all everything the Finnish company creates, but primarily thought in terms of the brand’s iconic prints on household goods, like the Unikko Bed Linens or Unikko Tea Towels.

What a delightful discovery, that puts a smile on our face!


We close with Monday evening’s Dressed to Kilt event hosted by Sir Sean and Lady Connery.

Above we see actor Sam Waterston and NBC’s Al Roker modeling their kilts at the annual fundraiser.  Beneficiaries of this year’s event include the Wounded Warrior Project and Paralyzed Veterans of America.  Below we see Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown.

Andy Barr/The Scottish Sun

Also on hand, Kelly Bensimon (we believe she is a housewife on one of the many ‘Real Housewives…’ shows?) and singer Kellie Pickler.

Vets also walked the show, no small accomplishment for many of them.  Below, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dan Nevins, injured in Afghanistan.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Some may remember last year’s event featured Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick.

PHOTO: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

He was not a participant this year, but G2 designer Eric Daman took part in the festivities.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

With that we say G’bye until next time!


  • Marimekko Fall 2010: Johnny Kangasniemi/WWD
  • Dressed to Kilt: Lucas Jackson/Rueters
  • Dressed to Kilt: AP Photo/Peter Kramer


Filed under Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

14 responses to “The NY Times Looks at Lilly: “Hilarilously Preppy” & “Terrifying”

  1. LPC

    Not forgetting Mr. Westwick. Not here, at least.

  2. ugh. al roker’s going to give me nightmares. i would love to try on Miss Scotland’s ensemble. take care.

  3. What an interesting article from the NYT, thank you Miss PP for sharing as always! 🙂 XOXO

  4. I love the Dressed to Kilt fundraiser idea…especially if it supports the Wounded Warrior and Paralized Veterans organizations.
    God, I wish more men wore kilts…well maybe not Al Roker and Sam Waterston…

  5. Ah hahaha! I loved the article! Too funny. Thank you for sharing highlights!

  6. Oh I love the pics of the kilts, etc. And Sam Waterston can really rock it. Al?? not so sure, but I appreciate his effort and help for the philanthropy. The piece on Lilly. Perfect and so funny! Have a great day Miss Princess. xoxo

  7. MCW

    Love that article about the Lilly store…haha

  8. 1. I love a man in a Kilt. Especially when they are wearing boots with them. I know, I’m weird.
    2. I love that Lilly stays true to itself and doesn’t try to please everyone which would make them just another Gap.
    3. That marimeko dress is adorable.
    4. Lily sends love.

  9. I love the stories behind the vintage dresses.

  10. I love the pic of the Lilly store. It looks happy and whimsical….
    it is sort of hilariously preppy. I’m quite certain that was meant in a negative way, but it certainly can be positive as well…the entire Lilly “lifestyle” promotes happiness, relaxation, leisure, laughter, enjoyment of life, even hilarity…and of course, it’s preppy. It is the essence of preppy and indeed, hilariously so.

  11. Thanks for sharing the NYT article. The writer’s description of her outfit as she entered the store is hilarious!

  12. loved this …thank you for sharing….everyone is different and thank goodness…thats what makes it so interesting…
    thank you!

  13. Well, I think that wearing all black from head to toe is both hilarious and terrifying!!! 🙂

  14. Jen

    There is something terribly wrong with seeing Al Roker in a kilt. Maybe a set of bagpipes would help.

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