May 7, 2013

LOVING LILLY, even more. by Jeff McKay

Part 2 of 2
Perhaps the only one who loves Lilly more than we do, is the clothing connoisseur, Keni Valenti (see my previous post on KV does YSL). And being that fashion works in mysterious ways, Keni had been working on a Lilly Pulitzer retrospective for months and months when Lilly died. According to Keni, the show at his gallery in Miami, “went from being a retrospective to a tribute.”  From classic original Lilly shifts to groovy ‘70’s pantsuits, the show has it covered. Amazing men’s wear, a bridal gown, a Lilly Monopoly game, and even a wild sequined and feathered costume that Lilly herself wore to her son’s birthday party (he must have been pretty shocked!) And of course, it’s all mixed up and put together in a way that only Valenti would dare.  Lilly would have loved it.

Looking in to the gallery, Keni Valenti’s signature sea of turquoise 
(everything in his space is awash in the color – always) is presciently perfect for Pulitzer.

Ladies line the walls between floor to ceiling men’s outfits.

Men’s wear put together with Valenti’s sharp eye for sartorial style.

Accessorized with vintage visors and sunglasses, these girls strike a pose.

“Lilly Pulitzer was the Emilio Pucci of America”  
- Keni Valenti

Blindingly bright and bold for Lilly.

Lilly loved to add lace trim for a little extra oomph. 


An unexpectedly graphic lame’ pantsuit leads the way.

Seashells pattern a “judo” jacket, here worn as a mini-dress. 
A classic yellow early ‘60’s shift to the right.

Lilly’s Hawaiian moment in a group of MuuMuu’s from the ‘70s.


A costume of sequins, lame’ and feathers that Lilly herself wore to her son’s birthday party in 1968.

The birthday theme was cowboys & Indians, and yes, that’s Lilly in that outfit.

In the middle of it all, a custom made “Bridal” Lilly, for a very good customer.

A slinky matte jersey number proving that even a Lilly can be sexy!

Lilly believed in flower power for girls and boys. 
Her ruffled evening gown and evening coat, next to a fantastically flowered linen blazer for him.


A crazy combination for a very brave gentlemen. 

Tiny leopards in tomato red having a time of it on a sport’s coat.

A psychedelic detail of three trippy ‘70’s patterns.

Three classic Lilly prints of naïf shells, butterflies and flowers on three classic Lilly shift dresses.

Lilly kids, ties and a promotional bandanna meet up with Lilly Pulitzer Monopoly – in case you’d like to own Palm Beach.

A pastel fish print blazer tops a balloon print boxer bathing suit.

Surf & Turf = fish and flowers.


The Keni Valenti Gallery is in Miami’s Wynwood art’s district – home of the largest concentration of commissioned graffiti in the country. For Valenti’s Lilly Pulitzer show, Lilly goes urban.

This lavish Lilly love-fest is ongoing through July, 2013

Keni Valenti Gallery
2612 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33127