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More than just the woman who created the fashion empire that bears her name, Lilly Pulitzer exemplifies an attitude, a casual sort of elegance, a style called "affluence at ease." Lilly and her clothing wholeheartedly embrace color -- she made famous the pink and green combination -- and her love of vibrant hues and bold prints led the New York Times to recently call her "a major force in prep resort wear for forty years."
But Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau is also almost as well-known for her entertaining as she is for her fashions. A tribute to her insouciant lifestyle, Essentially Lilly is lavishly illustrated and peppered with anecdotal memories of a life filled with color. Joined by her family and close friends, Lilly recalls the parties, the decorating, the food, and the fashion that have been part of her life in Palm Beach since she arrived there in the 1950s.
With sections devoted to each part of the day, Essentially Lilly captures a variety of social events -- from a sunrise sail to a beach supper under the stars -- and imbues each with singular "Lilly style":
Mellow Yellow Mornings -- start the day off easy with a walk on the beach or a luxuriously lazy breakfast in bed. Take some friends out for an early morning sail or a country club brunch. Round off the morning hunting for a one-of-a-kind treasure at a local flea market.
Think Pink Afternoons -- rev up the middle of the day with a bridesmaids' lunch, a birthday cookout, or a charity tea. Perhaps you'd rather relax with a fruity pool party or a "just-looking" stroll down Palm Beach's fabled Worth Avenue.True Blue Evenings -- gather your friends together for a festive cocktail party or a romantic beach dinner under a full moon. Maybe it's a deep woods campfire that appeals to you, or watching a movie out under the stars, or just a simple pizza party for your family.
Essentially Lilly presents memories and menus, beautiful photographs and dazzling illustrations as well as dozens of recipes and entertaining suggestions to make your own get-togethers as successful as one of Lilly's famed parties. Best of all, Lilly offers her spirited advice throughout: "Just relax and have fun -- and be an individual," she says. "It's better that you enjoy yourself than it is to get it right." Good rules to live by.
"LILLY PULITZER trademarks and logos are the property of Sugartown Worldwide, Inc. The book, including the design on the cover, are Copyright © 2004 Sugartown Worldwide, Inc."
Lilly Pulitzer is the queen of pink and green. As the creator of the dress that bears her name, her effervescent style has clothed three generations of casually chic women. Much loved by all who know her, Lilly lives all year round in her jungle in the middle of Palm Beach.
Jay Mulvaney is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer whose books include Diana & Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths; Jackie: the Clothes of Camelot; and Kennedy Weddings: A Family Album. He visits Palm Beach often, but lives in New York City.