Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Grey Gardens

If you need to get motivated to clean your house and get organized, take two hours and watch Grey Gardens!

I FINALLY watched Grey Gardens. It's not that easy to find. I remember being at an O'Suzannah employee party years ago and this wonderful girl Erin telling me that I would love it and then telling me all about it, so I've always understood the reference but was kind of faking it as I'd never seen it myself. Yikes. Fascinating, but I'm not really seeing it as this beautiful story of love or anything. I'm seeing it as two crazies living in filth with a bunch of flea-ridden and potentially rabid animals. I'm seeing it as a daughter complaining all day about what her life could have been instead of living it. I'm watching them decay as the house decays all around them. I'm seeing agoraphobia more than an "alternative lifestyle." I feel like the critics have really romanticized what Big and Little Edie Beales' lives were about. I'm also dying to know what happened to that house. Does anyone know?

I should say, this was my first time watching this. I love this piece from someone who has seen it four times. I wonder if my opinion will change when I watch it again. I do love Little Edie's style. Here is a a great Edie fashion montage on YouTube.

Some Edie Style Highlights:
"The best costume for the day (NOT A KIMONO!)":

I believe that is shorts, then pantyhose over those, then an upside down skirt tied and pinned into place.

This next one appears to be a tablecloth fashioned into a skirt. A lot of her outfits are some piece of fabric tied and pinned into whatever she wants it to be:

Edie way ahead of the purple trend. Wow, there's an actual bedspread on the bed behind her; I thought they only slept on newspapers:

Lounging in style:

These don't show up as well as I'd like them to, but they are floral flouncy pants with ruffles on the bottom:

Edie's favorite bathing suit:

A hooded safari look, much needed for the "sea of leaves" in their jungle of a yard:

You know what scares me about Little Edie? We have a lot in common. Her house had raccoons in it, I have a raccoon in my tree and had squirrels in my attic. She had 8 cats. I have a cat. Her cousin married J.F.K., my father ferried J.F.K. (he was the tender at the Hyannisport Yacht Club in the 60's). We both love our mothers. We both have houses full of painted and wicker cottage furniture. We both hang pictures from magazines on our walls. We both have a penchant for giraffe print. We both wear towels on our heads. Perhaps Little Edie and I are not that different after all. Well, one thing I'll never do is wear white pumps or nude pantyhose. At least I have that...


Design Junkie said...

the house was bought by bill bradley after big edie's death in the mid 70s. Little edie briefly had a caberet career in nyc before settling in florida. I think she died in the early 2000's. According to christine ebersole when she appeared on the view discussing her role in the grey gardens musical, when it rained, the bradley's could still smell the cats.

thebubbreport said...

I bet they could. I don't know how any of that house was salvaged after watching the documentary.

I just heard that they are making a movie out of this, which is so ironic, esp. since Edie talks about movie offers they had before they made the documentary and how only she could play herself!


Condo Blues said...

Looks like you're one step away from wearing your tablecloths as a skirt. Be careful!

thebubbreport said...

Condo Blues, as long as I'm not wearing the terrycloth towel on my head in a documentary, I'm good. The tablecloth in the movie was awesome - I don't know why I did not realize that the "costumes" in the original were such a product of destitution. I had my eyes open more to the creativity of it all. I do have a lime green Marimekko UNIKKO tablecloth I adore...

Anonymous said...

The bed with the bedspread was Little Edie's - she was actually very neat and expressed her dismay of living with the mess of the cats.