This “Fancy Friday” is our very own First Lady. Michelle Obama stunned in a floor-length custom Marchesa gown at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors last month. With President Obama by her side, in a sharp tux, the two looked glamorous and happy strolling through the holiday-decorated hall. The off-the-shoulder dress showcased the First Lady’s most famous asset – those strong arms, and the emerald jewel tone looked flawless against her complexion. It’s hard to believe the FLOTUS will be 50 this month – she looks amazing!
“Remember Harbor Boulevard; The dreaming days where the mess was made; Look how all the kids have grown…” Throughout our favorite Gwen Stefani music video, “Cool,” there is a definite nautical color scheme of navy blue and white, but Gwen manages to be seen in two stunning, brightly colored sheaths before its short four minutes are over. While waiting to meet up with her beau, Gwen is leaning against a bright yellow wall in Italy, donning an emerald green halter dress adorned with white leaves, and nude espadrille wedges, looking just like a sunflower in a garden patch. (Also, invoking ideas of Orla Kiely’s graphic nature prints…) We get to see the dress in its best light as the pair runs off to a wheat field in slow motion. The movement of the full skirt is beautifully feminine and carefree, just like the young woman she is. Although Gwen is seen fanning herself from the summer heat in this dress, she looks effortlessly cool.
Lilly Pulitzer automatically brings to mind vivid images of hot pink, bright yellow, and apple green, dancing across summer dresses patterned with fruit and flowers. The heiress-turned-fashion-designer built a business around a simple concept and execution that has remained popular for over 50 years. Lilly Pulitzer was born Lillian Lee McKim on November 10, 1931 to socialite parents in Roslyn, Long Island. She was the middle daughter of three girls, between Mary “Mimsy” Maude and Florence “Flossie” Fitch. Her mother was an heiress to Standard Oil, and Lilly and her sisters attended the Chapin School in Manhattan, alongside a soon-to-be notable classmate, Jacqueline Bouvier. She attended Finch College, before leaving after one semester to work as a midwife’s assistant and as a volunteer at a Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. Shortly after, Lilly married Herbert “Peter” Pulitzer, Jr., after meeting him on vacation in Palm Beach. The grandson of publishing magnate, Joseph Pulitzer, the two enjoyed living on the family’s Florida estate, among groves of citrus trees. After having three kids in five years, and growing bored at home, Lilly started selling juice of the fruit from her husband’s groves. Squeezing the juice out of the fruit stained her clothing, so she made sleeveless shift dresses of brightly-colored cotton. Pulitzer’s customers loved the shifts so much, she started selling them at $22.00 a piece. The dresses soon outsold the juice, quickly moving from Palm Beach to around the world (especially after former classmate Jackie Kennedy started wearing them). The frocks were soon dubbed “Lillys.” In 1959, Pulitzer became the president of her own company, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., and she designed until the early 1980s. Her brand became popular with some of the wealthiest women in America, including the Kennedys, the Rockerfellers, and the Whitneys. (Fun Fact: This editor was prepping, pun not intended, for a friend’s yuppie-themed party in East Hampton this weekend by whipping out my copy of The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach. She mentions the Lilly Beach Dress as the quintessential item to wear for “lunch on the terrace at the club,” or something “to put on over the bathing suit.”) The company faced bankruptcy in 1984, but was revived by Sugartown Worldwide in the 1990s. Pulitzer retained the role of creative consultant, but was no longer involved in the administration of the company. Eric Wilson of the New York Times reported, “Part of her reluctance to promote herself, she often said, came from her upbringing. She meticulously avoided personal publicity, as was once common to people of bottomless wealth, though she remained interested in the company.” Ha, if only the so-called “elites” of now retained the same kind of old-world modesty – the dreadful “Real Housewives” or the Kardashians would never exist… Lilly Pulitzer was as bright, sophisticated and classic as the brand and era she represented. The “Queen of Prep” will be sorely missed.
The Quiet Man may be the most noticeable movie in America about Ireland, and is always a St. Patrick’s Day favorite. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara star in the 1952 film about an American boxer, Sean Thornton, that falls for a surly, sharp-tongued spinster named Mary Kate Danaher (love it!) Here, O’Hara is wearing a black-belted green floral dress, adorned with white buttons and a lace-trimmed collar. Without the wide collar, this would actually look pretty modern otherwise, and the material makes O’Hara’s emerald eyes pop (pictured, below). She tops it off with a wide-brimmed straw hat, which looks gorgeous against her red locks. According to IMDb, the national color of Ireland (green) is shown in nearly every shot of the film, but it only appears on one costume in the entire movie – this one. Which makes sense, since it’s the first instance in the film when Mary Kate and Sean kiss! Apparently bad weather and bickering is what gets the Irish going! Erin Go Bragh! <3
We’re extremely biased when it comes to this year’s Best Actress race – we’re rooting for Jennifer Lawrence for her hilarious role in Silver Linings Playbook. Here is our girl crush wearing a plunging neckline on an emerald green pre-fall Calvin Klein dress for the New York premiere of her other huge film of 2012, The Hunger Games. She certainly looks sexy in her pleated frock and Jimmy Choo sandals – we hope she wins tonight! <3
The Irish and the English have been fighting for centuries, which has led to violence, oppression, terrorism and death. In the short year that Kate Middleton and Prince William have been married, it seems the royal couple have been attempting to take small steps to uniting the two countries through… fashion? It might sound shallow at first, but it seems the prince and princess have been honoring the Emerald Isle all year! Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and in honor of March 17th, Kate Middleton handed out bouquets of shamrocks (the national flower of Ireland) to the Irish Guard (pictured, above). The princess sported a gorgeous belted green Emilia Wickstead coat with chocolate suede pumps and a matching “Betty Boop” hat by Lock and Co. She topped off her look with a gold shamrock brooch, previously used by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne, a bouquet of shamrocks in her lapel, and amethyst and diamond earrings by Kiki McDonough (hmm, a jeweler with an Irish surname). For their enormous wedding last April, Prince William donned the traditional red dress uniform of the Irish Guard. Considering one out of every three people on Earth watched the royal wedding, we have a feeling the prince was trying to make a statement about his respect for Ireland. Last year, William was appointed to the honorary rank of of Colonel of the Irish Guard, and last June the couple handed out operational service medals to the Guards who fought in Afghanistan (pictured, below). Princess Kate has also been sporting Irish designer Orla Kiely quite a bit, lately. Earlier this week, she wore a lovely gray accordion dress while visiting the Dulwich Picture Gallery (pictured, above left). In February, while visiting schools in Oxford, she wore a 1970s walnut-brown bird patterned dress coat by Kiely that sold out within minutes (pictured, above right). While the British-Irish conflict isn’t exactly a problem that will be fixed with clothing, it’s nice to see the young royals making an effort to unite the two cultures with shared traditions and Irish fashion. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This “Wednesday’s Shoe” is appropriately emerald green, in honor of the Emerald Isle! This St. Patrick’s Day, you can look like one classy colleen in these babies! Made by Christian Louboutin (if you hadn’t already figured that out by the red sole) these beautiful shoes are called “Volpi 150” heels. They are made of satin and have crisscrossed fabric that creates a peep-toe. Originally $700, you can find them at several online outlets for around $150-$170. If you don’t want to invest in these kind of shoes for St. Patty’s Day, you can order some adorable shamrock chocolate heels instead!
“You’re not in America now, you’re in Ireland. So have a drink and shut up,” Declan, played by Matthew Goode, tells Amy Adams’ character, Anna, in the 2010 film Leap Year. The two play complete opposites who end up roaming the Irish countryside together so that Anna can propose to her boyfriend in Dublin on February 29th – the one day when it’s okay for a woman to ask a man to marry him in Ireland. Inevitably, Anna ends up falling for her tour guide instead. They end up making one sexy Irish couple, which is why we’ve chosen them for today’s “Tuesday Twosome.” Here, Adams is wearing a Burberry trench coat with a green and white floral lining, tan Christian Louboutin pumps, and a mint green stitched top by Day Birger et Mikkelsen. The soft color combination against Adams’ red hair and bright blue eyes creates one lovely outfit. Her partner-in-crime, with a pretty gorgeous pair of blue eyes himself, Matthew Goode is sexy in brown pants, working class boots, a maroon-colored shirt and a dark peacoat from All Saints Spitalfields. Matthew Goode actually thought Leap Year ended up being one of the worst films made in 2010, but he took the role so he could fly home to London on weekends! Oh, well, we liked it!
“[A uniform] gives a certain prestige in the community. When a girl is seen in uniform, people recognize her as a girl who is courteous and obliging… The uniform puts every girl on the same footing…[and] makes a useful dress for her to work and play in at the meetings.” – Reads the Girl Scout Leader’s Manual, circa 1917. Today, the Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, and despite some recent criticism from wackos like Rep. Bob Harris, the Girl Scouts remain a great jumping off point for young girls. (Fun Fact: 69% of female US senators, 67% of House Representatives, and 80% of female business-owners were in the Girl Scouts!) What people generally associate with the nonprofit is delicious cookies, and the color green! It’s serendipitous that the Girl Scouts’ centennial falls during “Irish Week,” a country whose national color is also GREEN! The Girl Scouts were founded by Savannah-native Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low (whose portrait is pictured, left). Following her husband’s death, she moved back from London to her hometown in Georgia. She had met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting, while living in England, and decided to create a similar organization for young girls, when she returned to the states. Eventually, the Girl Scouts blossomed into a huge American youth organization, with over 50 million alumnae. Their uniform color was originally navy blue, then changed to khaki, and finally became the official green color they are today. The Girl Scouts’ official webpage has an adorable exhibit on the uniforms used during the last 100 years. (Our favorite has to be the 1934 Mariner uniform for girls interested in the sea and sailing! Why didn’t they have that when we were little?!) Some notable former Girl Scouts include Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric (pictured in uniform, right), Mary Tyler Moore, Sandra Day O’Connor, Tipper Gore, Lucille Ball, Janet Reno, Barbara Walters, and Gloria Steinem, among many others. Even international supermodel and Project Runway host Heidi Klum’s eldest daughter, Leni, is a Brownie (pictured, below center)! Sporting green has certainly produced some powerful women, so here’s to another hundred! Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!
St. Patrick’s Day is seven days away, which means it’s officially “Irish Week” at theSkinnyStiletto. Since our editors are Irish-American, we love talking about fashion from a country that brought us plaid, fisherman sweaters, fair isle and an affection for green! Our first look that celebrates the Emerald Isle is from the 2009 movie Ondine. The sexy Colin Farrell plays a single fisherman named Syracuse, with a young, handicapped daughter. The two both start to fall in love with a women named Ondine, played by Alicja Bachleda, who he catches in his fishing net! But how did this beautiful woman survive the frigid waters of Ireland? Syracuse’s daughter believes she must be a “Selke,” a water nymph, but do the mythic creatures really exist? Costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh has worked on other notable Irish films, including Leap Year and Palme d’Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Since Syracuse and his daughter aren’t exactly wealthy or posh, they have to round up some secondhand clothes for Ondine. This slinky knit dress and hunter green coat (perfect color for the country) could end up looking trashy on anyone else, but matched with Ondine’s natural wavy hair and a pair of tall fisherman boots, she does look like a modern mermaid washed ashore.