That Lilly Pulitzer Book

Hello-Hello, and happy Indian Summery Day, it is simply gorgeous, the kind of day that makes you want to play hooky.

Today we take a quick look at the new Lilly book soon to hit stores, “Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend” is due out November 6.

Barnes & Noble

The book is being marketed as the “real story behind a very private American fashion icon – Lilly Pulitzer”.  More on the book from publisher John Wiley & Sons:

Today, Lilly Pulitzer’s iconic brand of clean-cut, vibrantly printed clothes called “Lillys” can be spotted everywhere. What began decades ago as a snob uniform in Palm Beach became a general fashion craze and, later, an American classic. In contrast to the high visibility of her brand, Lilly Pulitzer has largely kept her tumultuous personal story to herself. Bursting forth into glossy fame from a protected low-key world of great wealth and high society, through heartbreaks, treacheries, scandals, and losses, her life, told in detail here for the first time, is every bit as colorful and exciting as her designs.

  • Offers a close-up of Palm Beach society, replete with tropical mischief, reckless indulgences and blatant infidelities as well as fascinating stories about the Pulitzer and Phipps families and their world of eccentrics, high achievers, intermarriages, and glamorous trendsetters
  • Takes a fresh look at the Roxanne Pulitzer scandal and the atmosphere that fed it, and other episodes involving Lilly Pulitzer’s family and social circle
  • Traces the many ups-and-downs in Lilly Pulitzer’s personal life as well as her business, which suffered a decline in the 1980s before its resurgent transformation into the thriving success it is today
  • Includes 25 black-and-white photographs that bring Lilly Pulitzer’s world to life


Anytime I hear about the “early days” of Lilly, I think of those classic black and white photos.

Via The Pink Pelican Blog

The Pink Pelican has done a stellar job putting them side-by-side with the new print we’ll see in the Resort collection, In the Beginning. Below, that classic shot of Lilly in the Via Mizner store.

The Pink Pelican

But back to the book.(Apologies, I could look at that pattern all day long.)

We learn more about the volume from Amazon’s product page:

Born into a legendary family surrounded by wealth and privilege, Lilly Pulitzer is an iconoclast who has become a fashion icon. Lilly’s trademark colorful shift dresses defined high-society casual chic in the 1960s, and her brand continues to delight and enchant a whole new generation of women today. With Lilly, set against the glittering background of Palm Beach, Kathryn Livingston presents the first biography of this fascinating, complex, remarkable woman.

Although blurbs on book covers rarely offer insight about what is actually on the pages, here are a few quotes from the back cover.

“I met Lilly Pulitzer when I first came to America and visited Palm Beach. She was a very dynamic and talented designer who became the Emilio Pucci of America. This inspiring book is well deserved and a truly great read.”
—Diane von Furstenberg

“Lilly Pulitzer is an American original, an iconic female maverick. She has touched so many women and girls with her beautiful clothes and style—I still treasure my own Lillys from over the years. This fascinating biography captures her wonderful spirit.”
—Cornelia Guest

“Lilly Pulitzer is a trailblazing designer whose style defines tropical preppy chic. Her life has been as dramatic as the colors in her signature Lillys, and this biography tells her personal and business story with both empathy and insight.”
—Countess LuAnn de Lesseps

Double hmmmm.

The author, Ms. Livingston, has written for Harper’s Bazaar, and was also an editor at T&C (Town & Country) for years. She also has written or co-authored several other books, including In the Spirit of Aspen and High Rise Low Down. The publisher, Wiley & Sons, is offering excerpts in a PDF format, three in total. Click here and then look on the right side of the page to download the excerpts.

There are author events scheduled, including a ‘speak and sign’ with Ms. Livingston at the New York JL.  I didn’t see it on the League website, but am sure you can touch base with the publisher or JL to learn more about the November 8 event, Wiley’s page shows it as starting at 11:45 am.

If interested in pre-ordering now, or purchasing the book when it is released, it seems to be widely available.  Additionally the publisher is offering it in an e-book format at $12.99.

This one looks interesting, although it seems the book might meander into the sensational zone, with its promises of “treachery…reckless indulgences and blatant infidelities…scandals…”.  I do admit a fascination with the fashion end of things, how the business was built, declined, and the later resurgence and success we all see today.

I am intrigued to know your thoughts on it….? Planning on making a purchase? Hunting it down at the library? Asking Santa to slide it under the tree? Or none of the above, it’s just not your thing?



Filed under preppy

8 responses to “That Lilly Pulitzer Book

  1. Lisa M

    forget waiting for Christmas, I want it now. It’s in the Amazon basket ready for purchase 🙂 I just need to hit ‘send’.

  2. Think I’ll be adding this one to my Christmas list, because I’m very interested to read it. Or maybe I could justify buying it—all in the name of “research” for my blog. 🙂

  3. kinda brings it down a notch having countess luann giving a quote.

  4. Joni

    Oh pigtown, my thoughts exactly. I was all excited until I got down to the Countesses blurb, then I said eww.

  5. complicatedfabulous

    I will be asking Santa for this one!! There is no place on earth like PB and no designer like Lilly. Can’t wait to read the behind the scenes stories.

  6. Thanks for the reminder, I must pre order!

  7. I have watched the release date on this book get pushed around so much that I am intrigued and hesitant to read. There is so much of the story that I don’t know, but I also hope that Lilly’s rep isn’t tarnished. And I agree with the Luann comments above. yuck.

  8. Lauren

    I pre-ordered this ages ago, and have witnessed the release date pushed back farther and farther. Hopefully it comes before Christmas.

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