Sunday, 26 May 2013

Edie Sedgwick: A Bio Of A Messed Up Style Icon

Edith "Edie" Minturn Sedgwick, labelled a "social butterfly whose candle burnt at both ends" by IMBD, those words are so unbelievably true. Edie came from a well-to-do family and became known all around for her style, attitude and the fact she was friends with the most creative people of the 60's.

Her job titles included; artist, model, actress and of course a socialite.

Edie's childhood was a hard one,full of trauma. Her brother Minty was an alcoholic and during one stay at Silver Hill hospital in Connecticut, he committed suicide on the day before his 26th birthday. And little under a year later her older brother died in a car accident. Her family suffered with mental illnesses and unfortunately Edie was plagued with doubts about herself and these doubts had effects on her mental health. She suffered from bulimia and had a stay at Silver Hill hospital when she was only 20 years old. Her stay at Silver Hill resulted in a move to a specialised clinic where it was reviled that she became pregnant and had an abortion.

In 1960, she meet Chuck Wein in her therapist's office and they became friends. In 1964, they left for New York City. Wein wanted to make Edie into a true socialite known by everyone and in 1965, she was introduced to Andy Warhol, the king of pop art. Wein began to bring Edie to Warhols living/working space, known as "The Factory".

Warhol was drawn to Edie from the start and soon enough he was bringing her everywhere. Even crowning her the "Queen of the Factory". He began writing screenplays for her, and his film "Beauty no.2" made Edie the leading lady of the underground film world. Warhol, pre-Edie was an outsider, and Warhol, post-Edie was wooed by all socialites and became a major name in the art world.

This new found fame would proved to be her demise. Many people including, Bob Neuwirth, Bob Dylan's assistant urged Edie to leave Andy behind for the real films. Neuwirth became Edie's lover promising her stardom worldwide. Her feelings for Bob Dylan were talked about in the media and was even the focus of "Factory Girl" in which she is played by Sienna Miller.

It was thought that Edie and Dylan were secret lovers, and in February 1966, Warhol told Edie of Dylan's secret marriage. She was devastated.

Troubles between Warhol and Edie began and they argued over money and the fact she never got paid when appearing in his films. Telling her the films never made a profit and remembering that Edie was from a wealthy family, Warhol often made her pay for nights in which his Factory peeps went out.

Edie's relationship with Neuwirth was "addictive" in her words and when they were apart, she turned to pills and drugs to ease the aching lonely feeling she felt. She tried her hand at modelling again but never got very far because, back then, the fashion industry shunned drug users. From 1966, her drug use hit a never level of high and she never recovered. During the first six months of the year she spent $80,000 on drugs. A saucer full of speed was her typical meal during these times. To get her drugs, she stole from family and friends, stealing antiques from her grandmothers apartment. She once said that she thought drugs were like strawberries and peaches.

Her drug addiction worsened in the year to follow and a fire at her apartment left her with burns on her arms, legs and back. she ended up in a mental institute in 1967 and her behaviour became so erratic that Neuwirth broke off their relationship.

In 1968, Edie went home to the family ranch for Christmas and was so physically and emotionally wrecked she was bearly able to speak or walk. Her use of heroin in 1970 reached a peck when she became a moll for a motorcycle gang and would sleep with anyone in order to get her fix.

Edie married Michael Post, and stayed clean for a few months. The night before her death she went to a fashion show and because of an altercation at the after party she left early and took prescribed medication to help her sleep resulting in her death. Her husband Post woke to find her. Her death was classified 'accident/suicide' by the coroner. She was 28 years old.

Ever since I saw her photos and "Factory Girl" I have loved her, she may have lived a crazy lifestyle, and one I will never understand but I still think she was a very strong woman. Many blame Warhol for her downfall, others blame Chuck Wein and others blame her naivety. She turned to drugs and drink to dull the pain and loneliness she felt, soon becoming hooked. Her life must have been hard and it was only understandable why she turned to drugs and superficial friends to forget about it all.

I will always view Edie as a turn style icon and she will forever be remembered in the fashion world as an icon. It's just sad that she only got appreciation after her death.

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