Tag Archives: Style Icons

Lilly Pulitzer: Fabulously Modern Clothing

Lilly LogoIt all started with a juice stand in Palm Beach. Lilly, a young, chic New York socialite had eloped with Peter Pulitzer and settled in Palm Beach to live the life of the rich and famous. Peter owned several Florida citrus groves, but Lilly needed a project of her own. So in 1960, with Peter’s produce, she opened a juice stand in Palm Beach.

Lilly Pulitzer’s business was a hit, but squeezing oranges, lemons, limes, and pink grapefruit made a mess of her clothes. Realizing that she needed a juice stand Lilly dressuniform, Lilly asked her dressmaker to design a dress that would camouflage the stains. The result? A comfortable sleeveless shift made of bright, colorful printed cotton – pink, green, yellow and orange. The dress even had custom dressmaker details like lining and lace seam bindings. It was perfect for the job and became Lilly’s first Classic Shift.Lilly

Although her customers liked Lilly’s juice, they loved her dress more. When people began to ask if they could buy the dress, Lilly had a few more made up to sell in the stand. Soon Lilly was selling more dresses than juice, so she decided to stop squeezing and to focus on designing and selling her “Lillys.” Before long, Jackie Kennedy, an old school friend, began wearing Lillys and as First Lady, she was featured in Life Magazine wearing a Classic Shift. Then, of course, everyone wanted one and Lilly Pulitzer became a fashion sensation.

In 1984, however, Lilly closed her doors to settle into retirement with her second husband, Enrique Rousseau (her marriage to Peter had ended in 1969) and to enjoy her grandchildren. For the rest of the decade, Lilly devotees were left to scour flea markets and re-sale shops to find their beloved vintage Lillys.

Lilly DressIn January 1993, the Lilly Pulitzer line was revived. Now, Lilly Pulitzer is more popular than ever! The Lilly Pulitzer line is now available in 75 Signature Shops, major department stores, and fine specialty stores nationwide. Its popularity continues to grow among those who knew it years ago and those who have just discovered the timeless fun of Lilly Pulitzer apparel.

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Michelle Obama’s Picks

First Lady Michelle Obama picked fashion insider Isabel Toledo, 47, to design her Inaugural ensemble. The glamorous, creamy yellow dress and matching overcoat were made of satin-backed wool guipure, a kind of lace used most often in French haute couture. Obama accessorized the look with a sparkling crystal necklace and green leather gloves and shoes. Although the First Lady’s office repeatedly said that Obama would not decide on her outfit until that morning, the choice — including the color, fabric and accessories — shows a lot of confidence and planning on the wearer’s part.Michelle Obama

She celebrated her husband’s inauguration on that night wearing a white chiffon, one-shoulder gown covered in fluffy appliques and beading that will now become part of fashion history.Classicly elegant

Designed by 26-year-old Jason Wu, much loved in the fashion world but otherwise not well known, the gathered-skirt gown was surprising for its reserve given Michelle Obama’s love of jewel tones and sleek silhouettes.

The gown’s slight train swirled pleasingly and her shoulder-sweeping earrings picked up the gown’s sparkle as she and President Barack Obama danced the evening’s first dance at the Neighborhood Ball at Washington’s Convention Center.Jason Wu

Jason Wu studied fashion design at Parson’s in New York City. He has been designing his eponymous label since February 2006. Here are a few more garments from his collection. (I personally love his garments.)Jason Wu CollectionJason WuJason Wu Collection 2008

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Michelle Obama’s Dress for Inauguration 2009

On January 20th 2009, Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President-instantly becoming one of the most significant leaders in United States history. What will he say? How will he act? And, most importantly, what will Michelle wear? In these tough economic times, will she choose an off the rack fashion design or will she follow the precedent set by many previous first ladies and wear fashion couture created by an American clothing designer? A few of the world’s most prominent designers have sketched out their own ideas for the future First Lady on her big night. (Hold your pointer over the sketches to find out who they are!)Michael KorsReem Acraoscar-de-la-rentaPeter SomTuleh

Betsey Johnson

Diane Von Furstenberg

Isaac Mizrahi

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Through the Decades Fashion

Designers are looking back to the past for fashion today. They are very influenced and inspired from the history of our past fashions. Runways are slowly containing more and more 20s, 50s, and 80s fashion. Fashion designers and even everday people get inspired by looking at the fashion icons from way back when and they try to build up their wardrobe to look like Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn. It seems as though history is repeating itself in a more modern way!Inspired by the 20sInspired by the 50sInspired by the 80s

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Fashion Icons

There have been countless fashion icons over the years and there are still many living today. Fashion Icons are defined as people who lead in fashion circles. An icon could also be someone who, while dressing trendily, is able to be true to a look that celebrates their own unique style and taste. It might also be seen as someone whose “look” is simply timeless and unaffected by trends. I tend to see a fashion icon as having that inescapable confidence that can make anything they wear….simply desirable. Here are just a few of my old favorites:

Timeless Fashion

Jacqueline Kennedy (Onassis) is known as the most stylish First Lady in office and one of the largest fashion icons in history. With an air of ladylike formality and youthful grace, Jackie’s style still draws the inspiration of women. When her husband became president of the United States, she brought an era of high-style and glamour into the White House with the help of famed courtiers, including Oleg Cassini. Her good taste was influenced by her being born in the high society of New York and a distinct admiration for French couture. She remained strong during and after the assassination of her husband. When she mourned him, she wore Valentino.  Throughout the Sixties, she became known for her impeccable style and grooming, and had a tendency to wear clean suits by French designers like Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior. Women all over the world today still try to achieve her glamorous fashion style. 

Twiggy was a 1960s model who is known for her large eyes, long eyelashes, and thin physique. She is regarded as one of the most famous models of all time. After her rise in the modeling career, it Twiggy at a photoshootwas believed that the “Twiggy craze” would die down within a month; however, she became an icon and a supermodel. Known for the high fashion mod look, Twiggy changed the world of fashion. With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution. She was also famous for drawing long, fake eyelashes under her bottom lashes. By the age of 17, Twiggy was one of the most famous faces on the planet: her photograph was even encased in a time capsule and sent into space. Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel: a skinny kid with the face of an angel who became an icon.

 StylishMarilyn Monroe After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early roles were minor, but as her career progressed, she became known as a major sex symbol and fashion icon. Marilyn Monroe never ceased to surprise people with her many photo shoot scandals. Even though she was a voluptuous woman, she never looked vulgar. In films, she deliberately had the stiletto heels of her shoes adjusted. One heel was made shorter than the other so that she swayed and sashayed as she walked. Her swaying hips helped make her appear more vulnerable, increasing her sexual appeal. Marilyn’s perfect natural hourglass body was perfect for the 1950s where womanly curves made for the desirable body image of the fashion era. 

Grace Kelly was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress and major fashion icon. She was the first to wear casual sportswear, simple Grace Kellywhite shirts, white-stone Capri pants, flat loafers, shirt dresses, safari wear, jeans, headscarves and turbans and make it instantly and effortlessly fashionable and glamorous. She understood that, to wear casual well, she had to have understated make-up, squeaky-clean, shiny hair and be flawlessly groomed.  The main lesson we can all learn from Grace Kelly, herself a former fashion model, is how to look ladylike: she made every single one of her outfits chic and classy. Unlike her blonde bombshell contemporaries (Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot), Kelly wasn’t overly sexual. In fact, while she was working as a model, one photographer complained she had “no oomph, no cheesecake”. Vogue called her “too wholesome to be mysterious”. But that’s what makes her such an icon: she was different than any other women of her time. Her look was clean, classic, and simple.

 Audrey Hepburn!Audrey Hepburn was an English/Dutch actress. This Brussels-born beauty is one of the biggest style icons of our time. Perhaps it was the elegance and wit she possessed, or that little black dress, diamonds and pearls, and white gloves in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” she made every woman want to have, or quite possibly a combination of both. Like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn kept it simple. She too loved clean lines and clothes that emphasized her tall and slim figure. Her physical attributes were very different from other actresses from her time, like Marilyn Monroe. She had a thin waist and was built like a ballerina. Her main fashion designer was Hubert Givenchy, who designed her wardrobe for films such as Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Charade, How to Steal a Million, and others. The thing about Audrey Hepburn was that she also gave back to the world. She was appointed goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  Grateful for her own good fortune after enduring the German occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations. Audrey Hepburn’s incredible style lives on in women all over the world. The simplicity, the men’s inspired clothing, and the femininity make its way in the collections of some of the most well known designers of our day. We try to resemble our favorite style icon through her films, her elegance and wit.

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