November 9, 2008

poor little rich girl

edie sedgwick is an a firecracker.
she is untouchable, uncontrollable, and unidentifiable. she's an electron, hurriedly bouncing around the nucleus of new york city. you can't put a definitive finger on who she is. or rather, who she is at one moment. see, edie sedgwick is not one singular being. she's an urchin, a trust fund baby, a muse, a scared girl, a deranged drug-addict, a school girl. and, almost 37 years after her death, we still aren't sure which edie was the real edie.

born in 1943, edith minturn sedgwick grew up on a ranch, surrounded by her seven siblings, mother, and manic-depressive father. she was named after her father's aunt, otherwise known as big edie. 22 years later, she met andy warhol, the man who would unquestionably change her life. her routine visits to the aluminum foil covered factory started in march of that year, where she and warhol grew closer and she made her debut in his films. her unforgettable face and sporadic speech spattered with giggles helped warhol skyrocket into super stardom. he provided her with a niche in which she was constantly the center of attention, even devoting films entirely to her. together, they evolved into supernovas, exploding from the stars they once were. people were glued to the duo, staring in awe from afar. edie's style played a large part in her popularity: shoulder duster earrings, black stockings, and meticulously applied makeup was far from the general public normalcy. she even dyed her hair to match andy's silver 'do.
so, edie and andy, being out of the box, were idolized; they were unstoppable, climbing higher and higher.
but, as they scaled the ladder of fame, the rungs became more and more rickety. andy and edie's relationship started to falter and decay, falling apart slowly like rotting wood. her involvement with bob dylan made warhol positively sick with jealousy, and she eventually prohibited him from showing any of the films she starred in. he fought back with biting films demonstrating her self-absorbed ways. they were no longer seen hanging from each others' arms anymore.
edie's life continued in a downward spiral, brimming with drug addictions, rehab visits, hospital encounters, and mental illnesses.
she was on the fast track to death, and sure enough, she arrived before her 29th birthday.
on the morning of november 16th, 1971, edie sedgwick died due to an overdose of drugs and alcohol. four years before her death, she had started filming ciao! manhattan, and despite her mental health crisis, she found it necessary for her story to be told. so, with a tape recorder in hand, she began telling her story. a sort of electronic diary, if you will.
and her legacy did live on, and not only in the form of voice recordings.
a resurgence of opaque tights as pants, cropped hair, and artful dark eye makeup can all be accredited to edie. people are still obsessed with her.
it serves as evidence that edie's uncontainable air has escaped even the strongest of barriers: those of time, and those of death.



Sonya said...

i find her quite fascinating. i recommend 'edie: american girl'. it's a fantastic account of her life, with input from people ranching from warhol to patti smith.

Anonymous said...

She's such an icon.

ps - can't believe you'd never seen Virgin Suicides before! Let me know what you think

Anonymous said...

yeah she is one of a kind

Newborn Hippy. said...

I'm really liking this blog!
very well made <3
xxx isabella

Fleurr De Lux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fleurr De Lux said...

your writing is fantastic.. what a lovely tribute.

F. said...

I love her&was her for halloween...have you seen factory girl?not the best acting but not too shabby...

Juliet said...

I think she had a life I'd like to research. It's so cool.

juliet xxx

Lee Jones said...

have you seen the film cioa manhattan? it's of her and absolutely amazing

roxanne said...

how fitting this post is, considering i just went to the salon with pictures of edie as a guideline for the stylist there.

ryan manning said...

neutral facial expression

F. said...

Errr I guess this is for zoe...
OF COURSE I'd like to get into a long discussion about degrassi...I was totally devoted to that shoe&have been watching it since 6th grade(that makes 6 years just about)...the new episodes are such a let down,this season&the last were the WORST&they barely involved my favorite characters(marco,craig who disappeared after his coke problem surfaced,sean&jimmy)&they turned ellie into an obnoxious person

hrose said...

you have a great point indeed, for do we know, even now, which edie was the real edie? even though she was alive in the 60s, and not many historical aeons ago, sometimes i feel like she has forged for herself a legend that, like all good legends, reflects the attitudes and perspectives of certain ages.

Depending on who is telling the story and what their opinion of edie she takes on a different air. You listed them so well, muse, scared, deranged, druggie, poor little rich girl, urchin... she will be a thousand more, and will continue to embody so many different things in the years to come.

i hope people continue to be captivated by her fascinated story.

what a great post! i love edie, and you wrote so eloquently about her and her allure.

ps. i gave you an award!

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