I’ve always been fascinated by Edith Bouvier Beale, cousin to Jackie O, and frankly, who isn’t? Biography.com says this:
the young Beale–known as “Little Edie”–was a socialite and model. Beale’s mother suffered a series of family and financial problems so the impoverished mother and daughter withdrew to their estate which fell into extreme disrepair. A 1975 documentary entitled Grey Gardens made the pair into cult figures and fashion icons.
Rufus Wainwright has a song called Grey Gardens that starts with a famous quote from Little Edie: “It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and present. You know what I mean?” John Galliano’s SS08 collection was inspired by Little Edie and the famous documentary. There’s even this amazing Little Edie paper doll that is so charming and funny. You can buy it on Etsy.
Before her family’s “downfall” Little Edie was quite a beauty and aspired to be a singer or an actress. There’s something about her former beauty, eccentricity, and I guess what you would have to call mental illness and deterioration that is charming and endearing in a poignant way. Those are just my thoughts. Leave me some comments – why do you think she’s remained a lovable character throughout history?
I’ve compiled two lookbooks – one just to showcase Edie and the other with a modernized take on her look.