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Black Tie International:
The Authentically Preppy LILLY Party


The Authentically Preppy LILLY Party
Preppy Honoree was

 Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau


Lilly-devotees traveled from as far away as the

State of Washington and Key West, Florida

for the Preppy Party


 Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau with  event ChairpersonVanessa Carosella and her daughter Skyler Carosella who served as the Junior Co-Chairperson for The Authentically Preppy LILLY Party at the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History in
Boynton Beach, FL



Boynton Beach, Florida (Palm Beach County)--- On Saturday, January 8, 2011, the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History (MLFH) kicked-off the New Year by hosting The Authentically Preppy LILLY Party in celebration of it’s For the Love of LILLY Exhibit at MLFH.  The event also honored Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau


The event was made possible because of in-kind support from LemonGrass Asian Bistro of Boynton Beach; Le Petit Pain French Bakery now located inside the Boynton Beach Mall; and PRP Wines International. Souvenir event posters were sponsored by The Palm Beach Post. The tropical music was performed by Michael Kennedy.  


96 people attended the Preppy Party.  With so many people dressed in Lillys, their Preppys, pink and green, MLFH experienced a seismic-shift from the joyful abundance of people dressed in fun, bold, bright colors.   To add, the vintage Lilly-floral centerpieces were designed and donated for the event by committee member Sunde Marie Farquhar of Tampa Bay, Florida.


The guests at the party traveled from far-and-wide to attend The Authentically Preppy LILLY Party. They came from the State of Washington; Sacramento, California; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Austin, Texas; Delaware, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Key West, to name a few.  Plus, prominent community leaders in attendance were from the areas of Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Town of Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.


Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau attended the event and was serenaded by talented 7-year old violinist Willow Moffett who attends school at Morikami Park Elementary in Delray Beach.  The MLFH lobby was standing-room only with the nearly 100-people in attendance.


The committee members were Vanessa Carosella and her 12th grade daughter Skyler Carosella, Lori J. Durante, Mary Lane, Cheryl Moffett, Elinor Stephens and Sunde Farquhar.


Other significant supporters included the Boynton Beach Mall/Simon Malls, US 1 AC Self Storage, Christina’s Alterations in Boca Raton; The Boris & Edith Rueger Fund; and the Patricia Ann Ravo Fund.  Graphics designed for the event were created by volunteer student Renee Michelle of Miami International University.


About the Preppy Honoree: Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau:

Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau is a resident on the island of Palm Beach and a Florida icon. During her fashion career, Pulitzer was proclaimed the "Queen of Prep" because of her fashion line’s popularity as resort wear that was primarily worn by Preppy Americans who vacationed in wealthy locales like Palm Beach, Florida; Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, to name a select few.

Born in Roslyn, New York, Lillian Lee McKim Pulitzer Rousseau (nicknamed Lilly) was named for her mother Lillian Stokes Bostwick McKim Phipps; and her grandmother Mary Lillian Stokes Bostwick.  Lilly’s great-grandfather was Jabez Abel Bostwick and he was a founding partner and first Treasurer of the Standard Oil Company.   Because of Lilly’s great-grandfather’s oil investments, this branch of the New York Bostwick family rose to prominence and became one of the wealthiest families in America.  Lilly was afforded education at the most prestigious schools: Chapin, Miss Porter’s School and in 1949 she was enrolled at The Finch School, (a finishing school for women of wealthy families) in New York City.  After three-months, Lilly dropped-out of Finch to become a nurse’s aid at the Kentucky Frontier Nursing Service.

In 1952, when Lilly Pulitzer eloped and married Peter Pulitzer, her noble standing was cemented again because Peter was the grandson of famed newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. 


Lilly and Peter settled in the Town of Palm Beach where a free-spirited Lilly Pulitzer operated a juice stand using produce from a citrus grove in Fort Pierce, Florida owned by the family.  The juice stand was located in a tiny shop in Via Mizner located right off Worth Avenue in the Town of Palm Beach, FL.  


Lilly Pulitzer tells the story like this in her Essentially Living book about how it all happened in 1959: “there was this little juice and fruit bar in the back right here.  I would slice the oranges and squeeze the fruit to make the juice. But, boy, was it messy.  At the end of the day I was covered in pulp and dribbles of orange juice. I had to do something.  I used to have this wonderful Swiss lady make shifts for me.  I found this bright, bright fabric, the same colors as the fruit, so that the splashes and mess wouldn’t show. People would say, ‘Oh, they’re great. Why don’t you have them in the shop?’ So I went down to Woolworth’s, got some fabric and had twelve dresses made for me, and I had just hung them haphazardly around the store.  This was the early sixties.  The Kennedy’s were down here; Jack had just been elected President.  The eyes of the whole world were on Palm Beach. Jackie wore one of my dresses – it was made from kitchen curtain material – and people went crazy. They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business.” 


In the very beginning stages of Lilly’s company, she contracted Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida to design and print her fabrics used for the popular fashions.  Her fashion business grew exponentially to an estimated $10 million in revenue and 450 employees that had a positive economic impact in the Town of Palm Beach, the Palm Beach County and the State of Florida that helped to create jobs along with defining an American Preppy look and imbedding the combination of pink and green as official colors of Palm Beach.


In October 1969, Lilly McKim Pulitzer added Rousseau to her last name when she married a Cuban businessman named Enrique Rousseau.


About the exhibit:

For the Love of LILLY exhibit that has been organized and developed by the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History. Featuring more than 80 vintage Lilly Pulitzer clothes, accessories and original fabric, the exhibit opened on August 3, 2010 and has now been extended to the end of November 2011 to honor Ms. Lilly Pulitzer’s 80th birthday and to recognize her as one of the Centennial Ambassador’s for the 100th anniversary of the Town of Palm Beach, Florida. The LILLY exhibit is showcased at the donated location for the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History at the Boynton Beach Mall in Boynton Beach, Florida.  The exhibit includes various educational programs about design.  Group tours and school field trips are available.

The next upcoming events inspired by the For the Love of LIILY exhibit are: Children & Parents Day: Going Green for Spring to be held on Sunday, April 3, 2011; and on Saturday, November 12, 2011 MLFH will host The Preppy American LILLY Brunch for the 80th birthday celebration for  Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau.

The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History is located inside the Boynton Beach Mall (near Sears) at 801 N. Congress Avenue, Suite 483; Boynton Beach, FL  33426.  For more information, call: 561-243-2662 or e-mail:  Other current exhibits on display are Barbie: History, Fashion & More; and Fashion Treasures from the Museum’s Permanent Artifact & Fashion Collection.


More About For the Love of LILLY exhibit:

This multi-media exhibit provides a historical, social and educational context about the Lilly Pulitzer fashions and their appeal to the Preppy American.   The Lilly Pulitzer boldly-colored clothes arrived on the fashion scene in 1959 and garnered an immediate following of Preppy Americans who were well-bred socialites and old-money. Some items in the exhibit include original Lilly-Shift dresses, Lilly orange juice containers, Lilly cocktail napkins and trays; and Lilly men's golf shirts.


The exhibit also includes a display of original Lilly fabrics that were designed at the former Key West Hand Print Fabrics (KWHPF) located in Key West, FloridaKWHPF had a team of artists who created for Lilly the vivid prints of animals and flowers. 


Owners of Lilly items were invited to loan their vintage Lilly clothes, accessories, home furnishings and photos for display in the exhibition.  To date, more than 20 collectors from throughout the USA and the State of Florida have provided their vintage Lilly for the exhibit.  Some collectors are from Cincinnati, Ohio; San Francisco, California; Shingle Springs, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; as well as from cities in Florida such as Orlando, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach; Boca Raton; Boynton Beach; Delray Beach; Hillsboro Beach; Pompano Beach; Fort Lauderdale; Parkland and Miami.


Mural art inspired by the iconic prints in the Lilly Pulitzer has been created for the exterior gallery walls by Boca Raton High School student, Skyler Carosella.  Skyler is a resident in Boca Raton, Florida and hopes to pursue a career in fashion. Other mural art design for the interior of the exhibit gallery was created by Natalie Nelson of Boynton Beach, FL


MLFH developed a curriculum partnership with the Miami International University of Art & Design for the LILLY exhibit.  Students created designs that were inspired by the iconic Lilly Pulitzer designs.  Some of the student Lilly-inspired fabric designs are in the exhibit too.


Private group tours as well as School field trips are also available for the exhibit through the museum's Mathematics in Design program for grades Pre-K through 6th grade.  Mathematical geometric shapes will be highlighted as a part of the exhibit for the field trips.  The exhibit is also relevant to school curriculums that focus on Florida history as the Lilly company was based in the Florida and the fabric used for the fashions were designed in Florida too.


The Museum's Hotel Partners are the Hampton Inn & Suites of Boynton Beach, FL; The Ritz Carlton-Palm Beach; and the Colony Hotel of Delray Beach. 


Sponsors, to date, include the Boynton Beach Mall-Simon Malls, US 1 AC Self Storage of Boynton Beach, Christina's Alterations in Boca Raton; the Patricia Ann Ravo Fund, the Boris & Edith Rueger Fund and The Palm Beach Post. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


If other collectors would like to loan vintage Lilly items for display, they need to mail or e-mail a brief list of their Lilly items to or mail to Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History at P.O. Box 6127, Delray Beach, FL  33482.   For more information, call 561-243-2662.


Other current exhibits presently on display at MLFH are Barbie®: History, Fashions & More; and Fashion Treasures from the Museum’s Permanent Artifact & Fashion Collection.


For the Love of LILLY is not affiliated with the Lilly Pulitzer company/Sugartown Worldwide.


 About Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History

The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History is a non-profit 501(c) 3 history museum that was established in 1999. The inspiration for the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History of Delray Beach was the phenomenally successful popular culture & retrospective exhibit "40 Years of the Barbie® Doll" in celebration of Women's History Month which was on display from March 1999 thru September 2000 in Delray Beach, Florida.  Mattel, Inc, loaned from their archives to Durante nearly 80 Barbie® dolls for display in the exhibit. More than 20,000 visitors from around the world attended this exhibit which made it the #1 attended exhibit in the history of Delray Beach and one of the most memorable Museum exhibits in all of Palm Beach County, Florida.   The Barbie® Doll exhibit was conceived and curated by Lori J. Durante who is the Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History.  


The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History (MLFH) has been raising monies to acquire property for a proposed museum facility for the purpose of presenting permanent and traveling exhibits.  The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History was the first museum in Palm Beach County to be approved to host traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.   When the Museum was located in the donated space in a shopping center in downtown Delray Beach, a number of exhibits from the Smithsonian were hosted.  That shopping center has been sold and demolished for redevelopment.  A building is very much needed by the Museum to once again bring exhibitions to this area from the Smithsonian as well as artifacts from around the world.  For the permanent building for the Museum, there are many naming opportunities available as well as other donation and sponsorship categories.


In year 2004, the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History, was voted Best New Museum by the New Times Broward-Palm Beach newspaper.


In 2009, MLFH opened in a donated 8,000 square feet facility at the Boynton Beach Mall in Boynton Beach, FL.  MLFH will be at this location for at least three years while fundraising efforts still continue for the permanent building.


The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History is a non-profit museum that was established in year 1999.  The mission of the Museum is to offer educational programs, and history and retrospective anthropology exhibits showcasing lifestyle, cultures, people, places, fashion trends, clothes, architecture, furnishings, decorative arts, interior designs, locomotives and toys, and information about popular uses of artifacts by people/events of various periods of time.  The goal of the Museum's mission is to collect and preserve objects and artifacts that relate to the Museum’s mission; provide educational & cultural arts programs for children, families, the general public and the economically disadvantaged; and the goal is to enhance tourist attractions and the economy of the area.




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