I grew up wearing Lilly Pulitzer. From toddler to teen, I sported the hippy-trippy-meets-preppy bathing suits every summer. As kids, the game was always to find the hidden "lilly" in the swirling, candy-colored prints. Yesterday I went to score a Lilly bow tie at their Madison Avenue store to wear with my Michael Bastian formal linen jacket to the "Spring Safari" benefit for the American Museum of Natural History. The bow ties were all gone, but the Lilly boutique sells vintage Pulitzer pieces with tags as to what the person last did in the garment (My pants' tag read: "Tennis and cocktails by pool.") Pulitzer herself told me years ago that she started making the prints because kids in Palm Beach would spill fruit juice on their clothes and the colors made the stains blend in.
The benefit attracted movie stars (Emmy Rossum, Claire Danes), TV faces (Gossip Girl's Matthew Settle, Michelle Tratchenberg, Christian Siriano) and of course slews of socials in a swirl of brightly colored frocks. Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss rocked a short Lilly and wins my best-dressed award of the night but her stylish sisterhood included: Ali Wise, Zani Gugelmann (in J. Mendel), Charlotte Ronson, Ivanka Trump, Coco Rocha, Harley Viera-Newton, Jessica Whiten and Bettina Zilkha who asked, "Doesn't my Lilly look like a Lacroix?" Very Lacroix, sweetie-darling. The gents in the room included Lorenzo Martone, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Jeffrey Slonim, Tabber Benedict, Ryan White and the Museum's dapper Peter Lyden who was sitting next to onetime PAPER columnist and supermodel Veronica Webb, who literally looks more beautiful every time I see her.
Photos by Patrick McMullan