For more than 40 years, designer Lilly Pulitzer has lead the charge in pretty, preppy chic--a resort look long-worshipped by prim teens and stylish ladies alike. While the signature pink-and-lime-green floral frocks are what she's famous for, Pulitzer has also become known over the decades as the consummate hostess, now celebrated in her book Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining
. Like most people with great style who aren't shy about showing it, Pulitzer put her personal stamp of informal elegance on all her gatherings, turning her home in Palm Beach back in the sixties (and beyond) into a "famously unstuffy" stomping ground for the resort town's movers and shakers. Unlike other entertaining tomes, Essentially Lilly doesn't go the route of practical party planning. Instead, Pulitzer's book unfolds like a diary of sorts, a scrapbook of her life chronicling inspirations, favorite moments, and events. Chapters are broken down into three sections reflective of the designer's lively aesthetic ("Mellow Yellow Mornings," "Think Pink Afternoons," "True Blue Evenings"), and ideas come by way of Pulitzer's Palm Beach passions--sunrise sails to the Bahamas, golf and tennis, weddings in her jungle slat house, and treasure hunting, among other things. In lieu of countless recipes (though there are a few good ones), Pulitzer extends a broader one--a more personal formula for a fun life, and in this, Essentially Lilly
is dynamic and sincere. --Christene Barberich
From Publishers Weekly
For country clubbers, Lilly Pulitzer's dresses are the ultimate in preppy chic. The designer's frocks, which feature primarily pink and green floral designs, were made popular by both Jackie Kennedy and Palm Beach socialites, and are still the clothing of choice among East Coast tennis and golf enthusiasts. Now Pulitzer, who prides herself not only on her dresses but also on her ability to throw a swinging shindig in her Palm Beach backyard jungle, has jumped on the here's-how-to-entertain-with-style-and-grace bandwagon, joining Kate Spade, Martha Stewart and others. Pulitzer and Mulvaney organize their bright, coffee-table-sized volume by event, from casual occasions like sailing, campfires and breakfast in bed, to more official affairs, including bridesmaids' luncheons, "G&T" brunches and beach suppers. The recipes feature standard summer fare, such as Beer- and Lime-Marinated Flank Steak, Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers, Key Lime Mojitos and Poached Salmon with Lemon-Dill Mayonnaise. Mulvaney provides third-person commentary, while Pulitzer pipes in with occasional quotes, evident in lines such as, "Entertaining comes in many guises-sometimes it's a sit-down dinner for twenty-four and sometimes it's just breakfast in bed. 'I love
the whole idea of breakfast in bed,' says Lilly. 'Imagine starting your day with such pampered luxury.' " With its photos of Lilly Pulitzer-clad models frolicking on lawns, this upbeat paean to laid-back living is sure to enchant denizens of Lilly's world, however insular a group they may be.
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