>I think ‘Grey Gardens’.
This post was originally going to be an examination of female relationships through clothing in Grey Gardens and Ghost world, with a focus on Little Edie and Enid and the clothes they wear. Then I realised that this is a fashion blog and I don’t want people falling asleep in the middle of my verbal contortions on how Edie is like Enid because of how they dress and… eh… yeah. I still have that post in my mind, but I have to make it workable on paper before I go and confuse myself by writing a post.
I bought Grey Gardens a few weeks ago and loved everything about it. The Maysles Brothers and the editing unit were masterful with their material and the Bouvier Beales are knowingly entertaining, funny, sly and vulnerable all at the same time.
The fashion fascination with Little Edie stems from her identity defining headscarves, canny knack for colour co-ordination and her ability to turn fashion inside out and upside down, often literally. I wonder how much of this ingenuity stems from living with such amazingly limited means, and how much of it stems from her relationship with her mother. When Grey Gardens was filmed, Little Edie was in her fifties, but you can barely tell. Not because of her face, but because of her flirting with the Maysles, singing, dancing and exclamations and affirmations of her own character.
Her boundary testing stretches to her wardrobe. Her shirts are turned upside down and pinned and gathered in an avant-garde way, she wears net curtains as skirts and a swimsuit as a top. Her sweaters are pinned with a gold brooch over her head to disguise her baldness. And like a woman who is still finding her identity, she is continually experimenting with what she has, placing one item over another, casually knotting skirts and shirts, blending colours together and fixing what’s broken. She’s a teenager in a middle-aged woman’s body – that’s what makes her such an inspiration despite the dismal settings..