Tuesday, 9 April 2013

icons in blue, and pink & green

Yesterday the world was hit with the news of the passing of two great women - although they couldn't have lived more different lives.
In Britain, the news of Margaret Thatcher's death has reignited all the controversy of her life - did she save Britain from the austerity of the post-war years, (she definitely saved us from the Euro) or cause the demise of Britain with her unrelenting position on unions and the like? All I know is that she was formidable, and that growing up she was an example that women could do anything men could do, particularly given the chauvinist attitudes of a lot of old South Africa at that time. The older I get, the more I find it hard to find any one politician who makes sense - when I agree with someone on monetary issues, invariably I think differently to them on human rights issues - but I think Time magazine nailed it in their essay yesterday - Farewell to the Iron Lady - when they outlined her as a conviction politician, which doesn't seem to happen very much these days, particularly not in the UK!

Meanwhile, across the pond, Lilly Pulitzer also passed away yesterday. I can imagine that lots of British and South African readers might be saying 'who?' but while Maggie's life might have been one led in the conservative panelled halls of Westminster and facing down the miners of South Yorkshire, Lilly, six years younger, lived a much more colorful life as a fashion designer and marvelous hostess. 
She was a socialite who eloped to Florida and needing something to do after suffering with depression, she opened a fruit juice stall in her husband's citrus groves. Her clothing line was one borne of necessity - she needed to hide the fruit stains that were the side effect of her new line of work! Soon though, her frocks became her work, and the patterns and prints are now iconic. So iconic that despite Lilly having closed the business in the early 80's, a company contacted her over a decade later to bring her pieces back to life - there are now dozens of Lilly Pulitzer stores in the States selling all kinds of garments & home decor items. The fabrics might be cute or kitsch, but they are summery and happy, and that works for me: 
While Lilly might have been the doyenne of high society fashion and prints involving flamingoes, peacocks and pineapples, there are a number of quotes attributed to her that might sound flippant, but are pretty good mantras to live with - all the more fascinating given her depression and how she found a way out of it. I guess that they are the kind of things Maggie had to tell herself too - 

(I've set this as my iphone wallpaper - save it to your camera roll and then change it in settings)

(Lilly's answer as to why she refused to do a Fall or Winter collection!)

Other quotes that I love include:
 “Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.”
 “Being happy never goes out of style.”
“Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live.”

“That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.”

Although I wonder what Thatcher would have made of this: 

RIP Ladies.

images: google, lee jofa, pinterest


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