¡Hola! Stella here, one of the women behind LILY. What better way to start this journal of sorts than with LILY's origins.
As mentioned in our About page, LILY's transformation from pure concept to physical being happened one afternoon when I was playing with my mom’s (the other brain behind LILY) stash of semi-precious stones and vintage gold links and made a pair of earrings. That was LILY’s nativity. But I won’t be expounding on that story.
Rewind a few months back at exactly this time last year in 2016 when I was in Spain for three weeks to celebrate one of my best friends' wedding and to discover the country for myself. I will tell you that story. One, because it is way more interesting and two because that was the true beginning of LILY – when she was conceived without me even knowing it.
Have you ever heard of a woman who was pregnant, but at the same time did not know she was pregnant only until a few months later when her baby bump was undeniable? That's the best way I could describe what happened.
A few days before we launched LILY’s first collection back in March this year, I scanned through photos of my trip to Spain and was inundated with nostalgia. It was the first time I travelled overseas with my boyfriend, Mico (I named these babies after him and garnered this reaction from him half joking, half serious: “Why am I the least expensive pair?”), and my dear friend Nicole, who was one of the muses seen here in our Pre-Holiday Collection. We landed in Madrid on the 14th of September and then took a train straight to Valencia. My friend Roseanne, who was also a muse in Pre-Holiday ‘17 and was then the bride-to-be, resided in that town with her fiancée, Nacho, and his family.
I looked through the photos of places we visited when Roseanne toured us around her new hometown. Valencia was filled with vibrant colors and people with enviable tanned skin (I eventually realized that having tanned skin was inevitable if you lived under the Spanish sun).
Calle Cirilo Amoros in Valencia
I channeled my inner Scott Schuman and took photos of Spanish people in their street wear.
My travel companions from left to right: Nicole, Roseanne and Mico.
Colors, colors, colors!
I skimmed through a few more photos that took me to our next destination, Javea, a coastal town near Valencia where the wedding was held. It was incredibly dreamy. Javea is definitely one of my favorite places in this trip (I still can’t decide which tops my list as Granada is a strong contender).
But more importantly while looking at these photos I started to spot the elements that I could still imagine vividly whenever I thought of Javea: the pastel colors of the moonrise, the cool blue walls of the room in Parador de Jávea where we got dressed before the wedding, Roseanne’s beautiful floral wedding gown, the fuschia flowers that matched the sky at the wedding reception and many other fond images that still conjure up a soft smile on my face whenever I recall them.
I realized then that these elements were, in one way or another, present in the pieces we made for LILY. The pastel blues, yellows, and pinks in the moonrise were seen in Nicoles. The blue Mico earrings were in the walls of the hotel room. The fuchsia flowers and skies in the wedding reception were in Natalies.
Top: A moonrise in Javea; bottom: Nicoles in light blue, light yellow and peach.
Top: Mico waiting in the room in Parador de Jávea where the bridesmaids and maids of honor got dressed before the wedding; bottom: Mico in dark blue
Top: The Filipino crew in the wedding reception; bottom: red and pink Natalies
I found more uncanny resemblances in the other parts of Spain we visited.
Top: Alhambra at noon; bottom: Gigi in lapis lazuli and rust
Top: Flowers in Generalife; bottom: Carolines in red, yellow and lavender.
The food, the architecture, the culture, the gregarious people, and plenty other elements were stirred together as rice, beans, chicken and saffron would be to make a scrumptious plate of Valencian paella. An idea was cooking that consisted of all those ingredients. It later manifested itself during that one afternoon of tinkering with jewelry components and the creation of a pair of earrings that was randomly put together. Voilà, LILY was born.
It felt right to tarry along that path for the next few collections including Pre-Holiday ‘17. We continue to draw inspiration from this country that offers so much more than Massimo Dutti, Rafa Nadal and jamon (not underrating them in any way at all especially jamon because I ate it for breakfast every single day – who wouldn’t hoard it when it melts in your mouth and was sold at 1 Euro a pack).
I’ll end it at that and leave you with a couple more photos and our Pre-Holiday '17 pieces straight from memories of Spain I hold dearly.
Top: Mico sporting a denim jacket outside Casa Montaña, one of the most popular tapas restaurants in Valencia; bottom: Laureen in denim
Roseanne was a vision in her wedding gown.
Nicole in awe of the interiors of La Sagrada Familia.
Me being giddy in Alhambra
Photos are owned by Christella Soriano.