PALM BEACH, Fla. — Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau would have been tickled pink and green from the outpouring of color at her memorial service that took place Thursday at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Fla. Rather than classic black, mourners paid homage to the fashion designer known for her sunny disposition by wearing her namesake brand in all its incarnations.
“This isn’t a funeral but a fashion show,” said one member of the packed congregation of local families including the Fanjuls, Lickles, Coniglios, Boardmans, Mercks and Kassatlys.
Palm fronds, hibiscus blossoms and Pulitzer’s other signature tropical prints exploded on sheaths, sport coats and slacks. Women wrapped pink cashmere cardigans and green cable-knit pullovers around their shoulders, and slipped on Jack Rogers and Stephen Bonanno sandals, while men saw it as the perfect excuse to bust out their loudest attire.
Keith Warman, whose wife Casey Orrico co-owns C. Orrico, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Shop specialty chain based on the island, said he’d been waiting for just the right occasion to dust off a pink-and-green giraffe blazer and palm-printed bow tie. “There was never a question about going any other way,” he said. “You never wore black around her.”
Nancy Noonan, owner of Nancy’s Vintage Warehouse in West Palm Beach, Fla., opted for a vintage Lilly maxidress in a hydrangea print with side slits and white trim. “Unfortunately its matching HotPants are long gone,” she said, estimating her collection 20 years in the making as the largest. “Lilly loved coming by to see her pieces.”
Family friend and local developer David Paladino also went old-school in a citrus-hued, fitted jacket from the Sixties. “I had another by her covered with raccoons and owls, but I gave it to Mitt Romney off my back since he liked it so much,” Paladino said.
After her grandchildren Lilly Leas and Bobby and Christopher Leidy read, son Peter Pulitzer’s eulogy had everyone laughing — just as his mother, a tireless hostess famous for her democratic open-door policy and love of a good party, would have wanted. “There were too many cats, too many dogs, too many people and too many colors, way too many colors,” he said, recalling the exciting cast of characters at breakfast, and her makeovers if guests ever showed up in neutrals. “You couldn’t help but get caught up in her joie de vivre. She taught us how to find that splash of color when we’re low or bored.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast