By Mary N. DiZazzo

A Palm Beach Story

Ciao bella,

Lilly Pulitzer might have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she created her own fascinating and successful world. Stumbling inside the major mecca of fashion design, she launched a line of preppy resort wear in the '60s that would become her claim to fame from the New York Times to the Preppie Handbook.

The "Lilly" a dress best described as a "cross between a chemise and mumu" has been a staple in the wardrobe of casually chic women for three generations. A "Lilly" embraced a true sense of happiness and attitude. It's hard to feel badly when you're wrapped in raspberry pink and tangy orange! It was a color explosion for the era.

Just as Jack Kennedy was elected President all the attention was on the First Lady. Jackie wore one of Lilly's creations, made from kitchen curtain material purchased from Woolworth's.

She opened her dress shop on Via Mizner tucked behind the big shops on Worth Avenue. Her career then expanded for 40 years.

It all took off on a grand scale. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "Lilly gives her talent to her work, but her genius to her life."

Her parties are legendary. From firemen to the grand dames of society, Lilly would entertain guests with a carefree exuberant style. Even the hours leading up to a party were fun. If she needed help in her kitchen she would ask you, whether it be punching out bread rounds or chopping bacon for an hors d'oeuvre.

Her elegant style comes from her soul desire to see people enjoy themselves in her surroundings --all kinds of people. She sought to make them feel welcomed and cherished.

Lilly lives by the credo of the true aristocrat -- "to treat a duke like a dustman and a dustman like a duke."

For more of Lilly Pulitzer, the book "Essentially Lilly" can point out wonderful tips on the beauty of entertaining and also her days of "Lilly Creations."

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!


Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.