Since going to see the play Grey Gardens in London recently and consequently watching the 1976 documentary by the Maysles Brother’s, I got completely obsessed with Edith Bouvier Beale aka Little Edie and her sublime fashion forward style.
Little Edie (7th November 1917) was a very beautiful socialite, model, singer and artist, Jackie Kennedy’s cousin, who’s destiny did not quite turn out as expected. After a series of life experiences not all of them brilliant, on 29th July 1952 Little Edie joined her beloved mother at Grey Gardens in the East Hamptons, where they lived in absolute poverty till her mother’s death in 1977.
I thought it a very sad (tragic) story, particularity as Little Edie was a natural –both in beauty and style – and full of potential… I just felt for her, “missing out” in life and opportunity, especially by moving to Grey Garden… However, the natural Goddess that she was just came out in the most unpretentious and down to earth way in the documentary.
I just loved to watch her changing into the various “costumes for the day” and always looking incredibly stylish, elegant and glamorous…this just goes to show you that one does not have to be rich to be stylish. I also loved the fact that she turned something very personal and dramatic – she suffered from total alopecia – into the most sophisticated signature style – her head scarves, jumpers turned into head scarves fastened by a brooch and turbans.
The scarf/brooch combo and fashion looks became so iconic that Galliano designed a show/look based on Little Edie in 2008 and later Marc Jacobs was inspired in 2010.
Little Edie is completely inspirational, her soul and spirit intact.