When Andy Warhol met Edie Sedgwick the first thing he said was, “Oh, she’s so fabulous!” Wasn’t she, though? That’s how she became his muse. Well that and because she was rich — really rich.
Edie was a Warhol Superstar and fashion icon who came of age in the 1960s. She was everything and had so much potential. Her friends used to say that she always took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to get ready, but when she finally emerged, she looked fabulous. Edie wore ridiculously long earrings — her earrings had earrings — and several pairs of eyelashes all at once. She sometimes went to parties wearing a fur coat and nothing underneath, and one of her most famous looks was when she would wear all of her jewelry, a t-shirt, stockings but no pants and a pair of stilettos, a look that is still popular today.
What tied it all together was that Sedgwick was an heiress and a member of an extremely prominent Boston family. The way she behaved was not the way a proper heiress was supposed to.
Poor Little Rich Girl (1965) is Warhol’s hour-long biographical portrait of Edie Sedgwick as a rich betch who just sleeps all day and spends most of her time getting fabulous. What a life! I love the movie because she’s just sitting there in a black lace bra, with her big ass hair, smoking a pipe and trying on looks in front of her gay best friend. It’s reality TV before reality TV. It’s people being famous for no reason at all except that they are fabulous.
The tragedy, of course, is that Edie Sedgwick died at such a young age and suffered from a history of mental illness. Maybe there is something about fabulous people where some of them live long lives, leaving an impact wherever they go, and others who burn bright, live fast, and die way too soon.