When I woke up this morning, I checked the emails on my iPhone. Lord knows, I can’t miss any news. I mean, people don’t email me so I have to pretend that all “dot coms” are my besties! InStyle.com greeted me with the news that Anne Hathaway had a baby. Ugh. Ann “Hathaway” of annoying me. I’ve read way too many articles on her as a fashion icon—especially during her pregnancy.
Anne Hathaway is NOT a fashion icon. She is dressed for red carpet events by stylists. These stylists make a lot of money in order to make one believe Hathaway is the ultimate purveyor of style.
Hathaway is NOT a style icon. She is merely fortunate enough to afford stylists to assist her. BTW, her eye makeup is atrocious!
Add to that, the word “icon” is way overused.
You want iconic women in fashion and style? I’ll give ’em to you! Lauren Hutton—when she started out as a model was considered odd looking because of her gapped teeth and slightly crossed eyes. And she went on to become one of the most famous models and style icons. Her laid back style is a reflection of her personality. Jane Birkin—the woman reeks of style. Another gap-toothed beauty, with an iconic bag named after her. Birkin’s personal bag of choice was an old woven basket. Bardot—queen of the naughty girls and with the style of a woman who just got out of bed after a wild night. She proudly personifies the “Walk of Shame” to her walk of style fame! Then there’s Jackie. Her eyes set way too far apart, but beautiful nonetheless. She is the iconic queen of simple dressing. She reeks of class…..
Now THESE are what I call iconic style and fashion mavens! And you don’t achieve this title in your twenties or early thirties either! It takes a few decades to become iconic!
…and so did Jackie’s cousin. Little Edie Beale.
“Little” Edie Bouvier Beale. Jackie’s cousin. Beale was considered the real beauty in the family. And she was!
If you’ve never seen Grey Gardens, the documentary about Little and Big Edie Beale, the infamous mother and daughter who were members of the Bouvier family, I strongly suggest you see it. Or rent the follow up: The Beales of Grey Gardens.
An older Edie Beale in front of the family home, Grey Gardens, in East Hampton NY.
Big Edie, in yellow, and daughter Little Edie enjoying a sunny day at Grey Gardens!
Also on my recommendation, rent the 2009 film based on the original documentary. Drew Barrymore stars as Edie Beale and she does a bang-up job at channeling every single nuance of Little Edie. Barrymore was epic. The story of Little Edie and her mother even made it to Broadway.
Drew Barrymore nailed Edie perfectly. This is what made me a fan of Drew Barrymore!
Bill Heder formerly of SNL also does a great job of channeling his inner Edie on the IFC show Documentary Now.
Heder channeling his inner Edie. Everyone wants to be her!
In my opinion, Little Edie was a fabulously tragic, funny, interesting, and sad, intriguing, delusional, talented, and absolutely beautiful woman.
Edie in earlier times as a model…..
She was absolutely gorgeous!
Was this hooded covering on her head an omen of a look to come?
Edie shunned the socialite life and opted for modeling and trying to break into show business. Her life took twists and turns and she ended up caring for her mother, Big Edie. She ended up living a life of delusions and eccentricity.
...Big Edie was very delusional. She lived with her daughter and was completely dependent on her. Both Edies were dependent on each other.
The original premise of her caring for Big Edie was also taking care of the many cats that also lived in Grey Gardens. Check out her stylish head covering. She still looks classy!
And through it all, her sense of style, no matter how wild or weird or crazy others may have thought, proved the woman had class. Listening to her upper-crust accent, I’m amazed that she is devoid of any iota of a “New Yawk” accent.
Edie talking people and gardening. Listen to her accent. It’s so prep school but not New Yawk!
Studying her wardrobe, it is so obvious that she took time to carefully put her one-of-a-kind ensembles together. Stylists can learn a thing or two from Little Edie!
What does this photo have in common with Edie’s cousin Jackie? Ron Galella snapped it! Look how chic Edie is–and her creativity knocks the head scarf out of the park—she tucked it into her shirt and it peeks out over her pants! I LOVE this outfit!
Look at her skin! She was in her her late fifties here. NO TURKEY NECK! Her skin is beautiful and she matches that head covering perfectly with the vintage swimsuit!
She lost her hair. Her family blamed it on stress. Someone else close to her said it was because she set her hair on fire. Regardless, she rocked the DIY head coverings. Scarfs and various fabrics draped tautly around her head, framing her flawless complexion like a nun, and secured with a brooch, her style was whimsical, creative and pragmatic.
The brooch is the perfect way to class up Edie’s head covering!
Her All-American look!
The clothing she wore may have been old and almost tattered, but the lines were there. Simple and great quality. She wore timeless and classic clothing. But she wore that clothing in her own special way.
She put time and effort into her daily outfits!
…and she stood her ground against her mother’s wardrobe wishes. Typical mom and daughter arguments! Edie made brown and black look so fashionable!
What is not to love about her look?
Her style and beauty are timeless. Look at her face–it aged beautifully!
And despite the fact that she was labeled crazy or odd, she had enough self-respect and self-esteem that she would still take the time to use make up. A real girly-girl! I watch Grey Gardens quite often because I’m obsessed with her.
A rosy cheek, a nice pink lipstick, filled in brows and a touch of shadow, along with a multi-colored scarf around her head make Edie look happy and delightful!
I admired her for being her own person. I felt empathy for her because she was forbidden by her family to pursue her dreams of being a writer or poet or singer or actress. Her mother suffered the same fate.
From the NY Times. Showcasing her desire to write poetry!
And yet, living in the squalor of a once magnificent mansion, both women managed to live their sheltered and protected lives just fine.
And Little Edie displayed an air of fashionable, stylish flair. She really is one of my style icons. The fashion industry decides that a woman who has stylists and makeup artists and a village in helping her achieve that elusive nuance called style. The industry needs to realize that style is not “bought” nor is it made.
Edie dressed to perform. She was also in great shape! I love the bodysuit with the hose. And those scarves!!!!
Style is innate. Thank you Little Edie! Thank you for your personality and your class and your iconic style!
Thank you Edie. I tried channeling your head covering look. I tried a nice classy plaid with a red ribbon (Old Navy PJ bottoms)–but somehow it didn’t look chic, nor classy, nor stylish on me. I’ll stick to my regular look!
And remember–if someone looks odd or different, praise them for their individuality and creativity!
Today I give you a bit of Edie Beale performing a patriotic July 4th dance from Grey Gardens. Check out the shoes. They are incredible! XOXOXOXO