Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pictures Of Lilly

Some days, a person just doesn't want to write. Some days, a person wants to sit around and read her Lilly Pulitzer catalogue and sneer at blog-writing. [It's been humid. Humidity makes me sneer]. And some days a person reads a catalogue and thinks: "Say! I could read the catalogue and write about it at the same time! And then I could convince my readers we all needed matching Tailgate Totes!”

But cooler heads prevailed. I decided to stick with reading and commenting.

Behold the neo-traditional American family: attractive child, attractive dog, attractive mother, attractive manny. Notice how our young manny is dressed from top to toe in Lilly; something tells me these clothes were originally purchased for Daddy, a Bronx-bred investment banker who swore to his wife he'd never wear "That f**king preppy sh*t". Something tells me the manny does a lot of things Daddy doesn't do. You doubt me? Look at Mummy's expression and tell me she's attending Bible Study on those weekends Daddy doesn't make it out to the Hamptons. Eventually, the manny runs away to Los Angeles, a place with a deep appreciation of a wavy-haired manny. Within weeks, he becomes the live-in lover of a much-older female producer who arranges for him to star in a hit sci-fi series about a misunderstood stranger from out of town who can bend time with his abdominal muscles. Meanwhile, the dog is so preppy that his very leash is a Lilly Pulitzer tie. Anything else gives him a neck rash.

I’m not a misogynist. I don’t believe all the women in Lillyland are devious adulterers. Some women in the Lilly Pulitzer catalogue are thoughtful. This woman, for example, is thinking. She's thinking "Does our very death render our lives meaningless?" She's also thinking "Sure, my family owns most of Palm Beach, but shouldn't I do something more with the advantages given to me? Is it enough to be blonde, lovely and nauseatingly rich?" This anomie can be easily alleviated. Darling, the gin-and-tonic is by your right thigh.

This picture was taken during what's known in the entertainment industry as "The Magic Hour", or the last half-hour before dusk (The other half of the Magic Hour is right after dawn, in case you are curious). The light of that time of day gives everyone a golden, beatific glow. Oddly enough, so does good gin and a sizable trust fund. Focus on their golden youth, and try not to notice the puzzling effect of Wellingtons being worn with a minidress, on a sunny day. This is also a side-effect of good gin and a sizable trust fund.

The outfit is deeply preppy. The jewelry, however, is not. The outfit says "I summer on our family island in Maine". The bracelets, ring and belt say "My father runs a waste-disposal company in New Jersey." I attribute this to Lilly Pulitzer being based in Palm Beach, a region known for its crow-like fetish for shiny objects.

PAISLEY PANTS!...Black person.

I sense the sheer surreal unattractiveness of this picture isn't a coincidence. I suspect the logic of this shoot was "Those who want to see diversity in our catalogue will see him, and those who don't can fixate on why he's flaunting piping-hot dead sea-insects". On an unrelated note: if the blonde model -- a tall slender young woman -- looks short and shapeless in those pants, none of the rest of us have a hope in hell. Just saying.

Hmm, this is odd. Let me attempt to interpret this picture. The girl in navy, who is overdressed to be lolling in the dunes, is waiting for the manny. Her torrid summer affair with him will eventually be found out by Mummy, who will turn for comfort to the arms of her Pilates instructor, a kindly German girl named Gisela. The I-banker won’t know; the Golden retriever will suspect. The other girl is engaged to an ER doctor who is below her station but gets her Ketamine and Dilaudid whenever she wants (See: eyes).

Sandals, turtlenecks and wraps? I've worn outfits like this. It means I've gone to the beach in June in a tank-top, having willfully forgotten that the beach in June in California is cold and overcast. After an hour, I finally give in to Consort's entreaties to put something else on, but I have nothing in the car besides more tank-tops, so I go to the nearest tourist trap and buy a long-sleeved shirt which says something like "EVERYTHING grows bigger in California"; there are arrows involved. Later, as it gets colder, I grab the blanket from the back of Consort's car, which smells of wet dog and spare tire. Apropos of that, you just know the dog-model in the picture only sheds in private, into a bag.

Black person... PATTERNED PANTS! (...I'm sensing a trend.)

If this page were scratch-and-sniff, it would smell like Chanel No. 5, expensive leather and inherited wealth. Oh yes, and gin. What you wouldn’t smell is food; WASPS don’t eat. The WASP digestive tract receives nutrients by drinking their gin-and-tonics near food. They glean their calories from the food particulates in the air. That tray of grapes, cheese and crackers in the right-hand side of the picture will feed an extended WASP family for the entire summer.

Once again, rain-boots, mini-skirt, sunny day. Even if I grant them that it can rain and be warm in Florida, if it’s rainy enough to need the boots, doesn’t she need a hat? Does the family driver just chase after her with a coordinated umbrella? Was he told in advance that this was part of his job description? Do the first families of Palm Beach get a different kind of rain which only leaves puddles perfectly suited for well-bred splashing without ever actually coming out of the sky?

To misquote F. Scott Fitzgerald: the rich are different than you and me. They have better weather.

I'd like to mock her, but I covet her hair so badly I can no longer type. You can participate in the fantasy of catalogues until you come up against something which is nothing more than having good genes and a genius hair-stylist less than fifteen inches away at all times.

All the Lilly clothing, gin and Magic-Hour lighting in the world won’t give me that.



Blogger houseband00 said...

Pure genius, Quinn. =)

I am so forwarding this to The Sartorialist. =)

Man, flashbacks of The Preppy Handbook are coming back.

G&T's please. =)

Belated Happy Birthday. =)

12:27 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

My daughter and I have written thought bubbles in catalogs for years. We stopped once the models were incapable of shutting their mouths. It was just too easy.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The men's patterned pants MUST be the result of too much of the good gin. Hideous.

Great post!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Melodee said...

I bow to your greatness.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'd love to leave a witty comment about this fabulously funny and insightful post, but I'm too busy cleaning up the Diet Coke that I snorted all over my keyboard when I broke down in hysterics...

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second ElleBee...yeah I'm on Diet Dr. Pepper clean up detail now...

Very funny, and thanks, you've started a new hobby for me!

Can't wait to go home and check the mail!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I third ElleBee and Lauren. This was a particulary snarky post and I love snark!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to do that (with bubbles and all that) with my sister when we were child using celebrity magazines, but we never realized that the possibilities of those catalogues could be even bigger!!jajaja!


1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they sell the lobsters? Because I could use a few good lobsters to wave around.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Lovely post, Quinn.

It will help prepare me for the upcoming election year - when I shall mute EVERY political commercial and add my own voice-overs.

It kept me sane through the last one. So, there IS hope...

5:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well, that was good for a laugh. You have 10 new fans as well. I forwarded your blog to the "girls" the other day, and it was well received. They are all in Boston, where this article will be forwarded. I laughed out loud. I am sure they will as well. Thanks again for brightening this day with your humor.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

No, no, no. They gain nutrition through the soles of their feet, which explains the near-total absence of socks, except for a child, who doesn't know, and the E.R. physician-dating one, on the beach, who probably doesn't need any more nutrition because of the Ketamine and Dilaudid.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Daphne said...

Hi, at some point I bookmarked your blog and just stumbled upon it today while doing some "cleaning" of the bookmarks. Holy cow am I glad I did! I about fell off my bed trying to silence my laughter. Absolute hilarious - because everything you said is so true. Thanks for the laughs!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

I have to keep coming back to this post to copy the url and forward it. It's pure, shiny, Palm Beach gold.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Honore said...

Your blog is the most fabulous one I've seen in a long time. Well, ever, actually.

I think the reason that New Lilly is so much fun to get snarky about (which you've done brilliantly -- I have forwarded this post to all of my Preppy chums), is that New Lilly is very, very different from Old-School Lilly. You know, when Lilly Herself actually owned the company, and designed the clothes and prints. (As I'm sure you know, a number of years ago, after being out of business for many years, she sold the name to some Young, Uppity, Snotty People who intended to re-create the brand to cater to the Nouveau Riche.) Now, I've found that the people who worship New Lilly in a scary, cult-like manner, are Faux-Preppies-With-A-Lower-Case-p. (Very different from Preppies-With-A-Capital-P) The poor souls who don't realize that TPH is, you know, brilliant satire. Or think that Lilly is acceptible wear for The City. After Labor Day. And do nauseating things like wearing logo-emblazoned everything. (My mother always told me that wearing anything with anyone's initials other that your own is Terribly Crass.) Somehow, wearing my mother's Authentic Vintage Lilly is far more satisfactory. (Also, the Real Deal's better quality and far more attractive.)

I admit that about ten-ish years ago, when I was in my mid-20s, I owned a few pieces of New Lilly, but a few years ago, someone stole them (and pretty much everything else) from my closet. I wonder if it was Lindsey Lohan?

The mere thought of people with superiority complexes, who wear New Lilly in such a gung-ho, preppier-than-thou manner, makes me want a stiffish G&T. (Made with Boodles, not one of those trendy, new-fangled brands.) Or seven. Pimm's would do nicely, as well.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More please? :D

2:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home