Youthquaker. Scenester. Warhol muse and superstar. Vogue model. Heiress. Edie Sedgwick was all this and more.
Edie was the ‘It girl’ in arguably the most exciting decade of the twentieth century. Had she been around today (this week marks her 72nd birthday), her every move would be tweeted and instagrammed.
Edie’s life was one of privilege and glamour, but also tremendous tragedy. Born into a hugely wealthy (and seriously dysfunctional) New England family, her life was blighted by anorexia, her brothers’ deaths and mental illness and ultimately serious drug addiction. She died in 1971 at the age of 28.
Despite all this, she remains an enduring style icon. Dark eyes, short hair streaked with silver, chandelier earrings and black opaque tights – at the time, Edie was completely original and individual. In the 60s, you tended to fall into one of two tribes – flowery hippies (think Haight-Ashbury or the Isle of Wight festival) or cool modish types like Edie herself (think Twiggy, David Bailey and Carnaby Street). I know which camp I’d rather fall into. I love the dark glamour of the whole East Coast/Factory look – lots of black eyeliner, leather and silver, accompanied by the sounds of the Velvet Underground….
Of course all of this had a very seedy underbelly, and I’m not in any way condoning that. Edie herself was certainly a victim of that scene. I’m simply talking about style. And hers was fabulous.