Edie’s life was a dream. In the end she just had to wake up. I genuinely have no other way of describing it.
If you are interested in the life and times of Edith Minturn Sedgwick, you won’t want to miss this tome purely for the photographs, some seen before, others – never. My edition came with an audio of Edie’s voice where she described her Factory Days and spoke about life as she saw it. Most of these you’ve probably heard if you’ve seen Ciao! Manhattan (1972).
The book doesn’t really have a bio or a narrative. Instead, it is a collection of quotes from Edie and about Edie. It’s just mesmerising to see how fondly her friends remember her. Their quotes make her into a mythological creature, a fairy, certainly not of this world. She must have been quite the presence.
Edie Sedgwick was an American socialite whose notoriety rose to fame in the 60s. She became Warhol’s first superstar and the first “it” girl. Many claim that it was her who coined the phrase about everyone having 15 minutes of fame in the future that Andy Warhol is currently credited for.
The pair collaborated on a number of projects including a series of photography and underground films, the most popular of which was Poor Little Rich Girl where Warhol follows Edie as she gets ready, puts clothes and make up on while talking to the camera. Call it the first reality show of its kind.
I’d make a mask out of my face because I didn’t realise I was quite beautiful. I had to wear heavy black eyelashes like bat wings and dark lines under my eyes. Cut all my hair off, my long dark hair, cut it off and sprayed it silver and blond. All these little manoeuvres I did out of things that were happening in my life that upset me. I’d freak out in a very physical way, and it was all taken as a fashion trend.
– Edie Sedgwick
Edie died at a devastatingly young age of 28 due to a barbiturate overdose. After a lifetime of partying, forced time in mental institutions, family tragedies (alleged fear of her father, Fuzzy, deaths and suicides of her siblings) as well as incomprehensibly epic drug abuse, Edie just stopped breathing one night.
I would like to finish this article, giving Edie the last word. I think it was her devil-may-care, completely anti-fashion attitude that made her into a style icon celebrated to this day.
Fashion as a whole is a farce, completely. The people behind it are perverted, the styles are created by freaked out people, just natural weirdos.
– Edie Sedgwick
You can get a copy of Edie: Girl on Fire here.