>> Before the time of Paris Hilton, another Manhattan heiress was stealing the limelight - back in the 60's, that is. Edie Sedgwick, best known as artist Andy Warhol's muse, had style and persona that no heirhead these days can even begin to compete with.
Edie was never a fashion victim -- she was fashion forward. She went to society parties barefoot, or in a black leotard accessorized with oodles of bangles, necklaces, her trademark chandelier earrings, and her signature black tights. Her hair was pixie-ish, dyed to match Warhol's. She spent hours on her makeup, rimming her eyes in kohl, adding false eyelashes, filling in her eyebrows to Elizabeth Taylor-style, darkening her beauty mark, playing down her mouth in pearlized lipsticks.
Although her influence has always been around -- think Kate Moss' blonde bob a few years back (left), or Samaire Armstrong's look on The OC (right), it seems that Edie is back on the fashion radar, full speed ahead. Katie Holmes has been tapped to play Edie in the biopic Factory Girl (named for Warhol's studio The Factory), set to come out later this year.
John Galliano attributed the inspiration for both his Fall/Winter 2005 haute couture and ready-to-wear collections for Christian Dior to Edie. The chandelier earrings worn in the couture line were the spitting image of some that Edie used to wear, and the models' dark eyeliner, beauty spot, and pale lipstick are clearly a tribute as well (left). The Breton stripes that Edie and Warhol were so fond of were ubiquitous in the ready-to-wear line (right), and Edie's leotards showed up in the couture line. Her influence is even popping up in other F/W 2005 RTW collections - like the Emanuel Ungaro dress on the left, for instance.
So prepare yourselves for a fall of black, black, black, girls -- whether it be eyeliner, boots, skirts, tights, or for the daring: leotards. This is one heiress that you can channel and not be a fashion flop. As for you, Paris Hilton -- watch out -- Edie's Ghost of Fashion Past might just be out to get you.
Besides her style, Edie was a very interesting person -- to find out more about her habit of sleeping with a lit ciggy, her untimely death, her 1960's plastic surgery, or her rejection by Warhol, I recommend Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein or the should-be documentary Ciao! Manhattan.