Sunday, 21 March 2010

Edie Bouvier Beale and Grey Gardens



Little Edie

Most of you will have seen or be familiar with the story of Grey Gardens, the crumbling East Hamptons mansion where eccentrics Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Little Edie lived as almost total recluses since the fifties.

The cousin of Jackie Kennedy, Little Edie, an American socialite, former fashion model and cabaret performer was a society beauty who once dated Howard Hughes and received proposals from Joe Kennedy Jr and John Paul Getty. Her lifestyle was cut short when her father left her mother and she moved back into Grey Gardens to care for her. Edith apparently scared off all of Edie's suitors fearing she would be left alone.

They had little money so the decaying house got in a terrible state, overrun with cats, raccoons and oppossum! They ended up living mostly in one room arguing or reminiscing about their formerly glamorous lives.

The quirky documentary film Grey Gardens was made in 1976 by Albert and David Maysles and last year a biopic was released starring Drew Barrymore as Edie and Jessica Lange as her mother, I've just ordered the film from Amazon.  Edie has become and unlikely style icon with her turbans made from sweaters, swimsuits and bizarre pinned together dresses.

After the death of her mother Edie finally settled in Florida wanting a life of quiet isolation. A daily swimmer until her death aged 84 in 2002, she had been dead for five days when she was discovered by her nephew.  She was probably wearing one of her signature looks of a swimsuit and turban.


I love this picture




Little Edie




Drew Barrymore looks very similar to young Edie





Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange



















Little Edie in Grey Gardens, 1976



Christine Abersole as Little Edie on Broadway, 2006




Drew Barrymore wearing a fabulous headpiece by the film's Costume Designer, Catherine Thomas







John Galliano was strongly influenced by Little Edie in his collection for SS08





6 comments:

Wildernesschic said...

I remember reading about this .. I have not seen the orginal film. I must get to see the new one.. fascinating it would be my living hell !! She was a real beauty x

SR@MyStyle said...

Hi there-I'm sure this was on TV only a couple of weeks ago, but I missed it. I think I'll try and get this on DVD too.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Great post, Christina. I love the two Grey Gardens documentaries.

Harley Accessories said...

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fluffymarshmellow said...

i love this blog. absolutely fascinated by the life of little edie. x

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