As a Southerner, Lilly Pulitzer carries enough clout to be recognized on a first name basis. Lilly is the Cher of Southern fashion, the Madonna of patterned prints, the Britney of an emblem of culture. It is synonymous with genteel Southern behavior, with sorority houses and smiles, “y’alls”, and everything that is upper class in the Bible Belt. Does it say much about me that I have never worn Lilly until I was booked for it’s debut Resort presentation? Hopefully not. Growing up, something like Lilly was never in our family’s budget, so it was pretty much Target until I moved to NYC and was thankful enough to minimize my wardrobe to a mere shade: black.
However, receiving the email about my Lilly Pulitzer presentation, I was excited. For some reason, working for the brand made me feel a little closer to home. So I headed for the New Museum on Bowery to get hair and make up ready on a Thursday afternoon.
It was immediately apparent that the outward appeal of Lilly Pulitzer stems from the impeccable inner workings of this company. I arrived at the top floor, brightly lit by the windows encompassing the entire western wall of the museum. More important than the location was the grace with which I and every other model was treated. Oftentimes, we are herded like cattle from one place to the next, without food or water. At Lilly, however, every need was more than taken care of. We were offered pink lemonade, little shot glasses filled with Starbursts and plates of delicious sandwiches. And each and every person wearing a patterned Lilly dress was kind, smart, and utterly adorable.
Supermodel Erin Heatherton gets her picture taken with Lilly’s EVP of Product Design and Development, Mira Fain for Getty Images.
The overall experience of backstage was unparalleled. I felt so good before that standing for an hour on a box was actually fine with me. After the show, they gave us the robe we were wearing in hair and makeup, pretty Essie nail polishes, Lilly Pulitzer make-up bags and USBs, and brightly colored WetBrushes. I could barely fit everything in my bag. Not to mention, they gave every girl over 21 a to-go cup of wine.
Wearing the Look: my make-up done by artist David Birdwell
Now to the clothes, the reason why most have come to this post, no doubt. While the bright patterned dresses aren’t my personal choice in style, the colors were beautiful and the patterns fresh and exciting. The resort looks are great because they can be worn anywhere; dressed up with heels for a soiree or down with sandals for a stroll at the beach. My own outfit was this hot pink tunic with some pretty gorgeous lace-up gold sandal wedges.
My gorgeous girlfriend Caitlin Ricketts and I in our Lilly looks!
From the pretty clothes to the fabulous women running this company, everything about working for Lilly Pulitzer was an total honor. I am certain that Lilly Pulitzer is looking down on her eponymous empire and giving a great, warm Southern smile.