Thursday, November 19, 2009

Old Fabric Meets Old Book & They Live Happily Ever After...The End

I've been making these "Book Bags" lately. I love them. I recently used one and I noticed that it caught the eye of a few different women. Then the bravest among them approached and asked, "Oh my gosh, is that a book?" I appreciated the fact that they noticed. I'm in California though, so while they noticed that it was a book, they had very little appreciation for the vintage Lilly fabric. Most people here look at me with a puzzled expression when I mention Lilly heart goes out to them : )

Then, there are those who are familiar with Lilly Pulitzer but simply say, "I don't like's way too bright for me". It's always a little awkward. It would be like me telling someone that I'm a peanut farmer and they respond by telling me that they are allergic. The conversation's pretty much over at that point.
It's unfortunate because I want to talk with people about vintage Lilly and how interesting the era was (1960s)as the country developed a different standard for the separation of classes, a subject that I find most fascinating. For me, looking at vintage Lilly fabric is similar to looking at an old photograph. It's a glimpse into the past and it makes me feel a certain way. Of course, the new Lilly print, In the Slim ,has quite literally done just that by designing a pattern that incorporates old photographs. Needless to say, I love it.

I'm eager to discuss how Lilly's fabrics symbolized wealth, yet mocked conformism and how the (beyond) colorful Lilly shift was the upper echelon's way of insinuating that, they too, were entitled to a bit of 60's frolic. Which, might be considered, by some, as an attempt to join in without getting dirty. But none of that gets discussed because all too often, the exchange stops at "It's too bright for me". I always want to say, "Yeah, me too, but it's not about that", but instead, there's usually an unspoken agreement to change the subject to something far less controversial. Politics usually seems to do nicely.

For the record, Lilly patterns were and are way too bright, and that's what I love about them. I'll borrow the words of a reader who recently said, "They are just absolute fabulousness!" (a word that requires the ignore button when doing a spellcheck). My six year old also summed it up nicely when I received a huge shipment of vintage Lilly fabric in the mail, she exclaimed, "It looks like candy!". I agree.

Back to the bags. The two bags that you see here were made with vintage Lilly (1970s). One print was designed by Pell (the pink & green). The pattern is called "Confetti". The other (blue/green with tigers)was designed by Suzie Zuzek (Who else could possibly come up with those friendly tigers?). The name of the blue/green print is "HOB". I have no idea what "HOB" stands for. I'll work on finding that out!


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