The Swankiest Kid’s Tea Party in Town
The 10th annual “Tickled Pink” afternoon tea party benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic took place right before Mother’s Day this year, featuring the latest in mother/daughter spring and summer fashions. The Fairmont Georgetown Hotel once again partnered with Pink Palm at Bethesda Row, a Lilly Pulitzer® Signature Store, to host this extravagant event. I’ve never seen so much pink!
Fashion building mother and daughter bonds
First, if you’ve never been to the Fairmont in Georgetown, it’s as classy as D.C. hotels come. Walking into the lobby from the normal bustle of the street, you’re surrounded by the serene, quiet beauty of marbled floors, natural light and smiling staff. Ah, luxury! It dawned on me that I was in for quite the tea party.
Walking to the Tickled Pink event, I was first struck by all the pink. I was not prepared for this. Pink lights, pink mimosas, pink ribbons, pink cheeks of excited, smiling young girls and the pink lips of their beaming mothers. Pink everywhere. Butlers walked around with silver trays, serving the young girls champagne flutes of bubbly fruit juice, and champagne and mimosas for the adults. Meanwhile, the Pink Palm sold Lilly Pulitzer goods and tables of silent auction items benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation surrounded the room.
Most remarkable, though, were the dozens of mothers and daughters in matching colorful Lilly Pulitzer outfits. I usually cringe when my mother brings out old photos of myself wearing an exact replica of her outfit, but seeing the mother/daughter pairs proudly strutting their Pulitzer patterned dresses was actually cute. It made me think about how important fashion can be to mother/daughter relationships, even at a young age. For mothers, it’s a way for them to treasure a bond with their young ones. For daughters, it’s a way of emulating their biggest role model. And shopping is an activity that will forever bring mothers and daughters closer together over their lifetimes.
Local celebrity moms and Lilly’s legacy
This was the 10th year of the Tickled Pink event, and it had the biggest attendance yet. The turnout was impressive, and I had a feeling I was in a room filled with D.C.’s most successful women. And rightly so. After a few remarks by Bob Maidgan from WTOP Radio, Laura Caldwell of the Mid-Atlantic Make-A-Wish Foundation and a Lilly Pultizer tribute from Lizanne Jeveret of the Pink Palm, the long-awaited fashion show began. Local celebrity moms calmly strolled down the catwalk, hand-in-hand with their daughters and big toothy smiles.
As pictured above, local entrepreneurial moms included: Allison Priebe, owner of Queen Bee Designs and her 9-year-old, Cynthia; Lesli Foster, an Emmy, AP and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist at WUSA-TV, and her 7-year-old, Jordan; Angie Goff, anchor and reporter for NBC4, and her 2-year-old, Adora, among other locally influential women.
In terms of fashion, the Lilly Pulitzer designs reminded me of Vera Bradley designs — cute, but sometimes veering on the tacky. Then again, I am also someone who sticks to basics, loves black and has a fondness for neutrals. Color is definitely out of my comfort zone. So I was moved by Jeveret’s tribute to Pulitzer.
Jeveret commented that Pulitzer always said style was not what you wear, but how you live. She was loved by all, celebrated for how she loved life, her gusto, her generosity and her never-ending sense of fun. In terms with the reason we were actually all there — to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation — this all made sense. Fashion doesn’t have have to be something taken too seriously. It can be something fun that we delight in and share with our loved ones.
A mother whose daughter benefited from Make-A-Wish testified to how important the power of a smile is for a child and was for hers. They were both beaming when they were presented with a special gift trip to Disneyland. I actually teared up when the little girl became all smiles and giggles. Something about Mother’s Day, the proud little girls and just the happiness radiating the room was making me sentimental. I was, unexpectedly, tickled pink.