Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grey Gardens

Have you ever heard of 'Grey Gardens', the legendary documentary by Albert and David Maysles? It basically is a series of interviews and just video footage of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie. Notice something interesting - 'bouvier'? Recognize that? Yes, thats right, they were the cousin and aunt to Jackie BOUVIER Kennedy!
Edie and her mother were WILD eccentrics who lived in a rotting mansion in the Hamptons called 'Grey Gardens'. You can't even believe how they live...this mansion was condemned numerous times and Jackie bailed them out a few times to get neccesary work done on the house just to keep it from being torn down by the city! Now of course the house has been fully restored by a socialite and is one of the ultimate showplaces ( and largest homes ) in the Hamptons.

The real story here is their personalities. Both were socialite beauties in their respective days - unmarried / divorced and living in their past histories. Edie especially had extreme notions on beauty and dressing which have inspired many fashion designers. I think any fashion designer that has ever been interviewed has named 'Grey Gardens' as an inspiration.
A few years ago the documentary was turned into a musical on broadway and did fairly well I believe. I actually went up to NY to see it but was having such a good time that I didn't go to the show at the last minute ( and I SOOO regret it ). However, I may still see it as I hear it will be made into a MOVIE with Drew Barrymore playing Edie and Meryl Streep playing Edith. Please check out the documentary, the broadway show or the movie coming out in the next few years - you won't regret it! It's both hilarious and inspiring! Also check out the official website if you are interested in more information.

I've embedded a clip that is just great that takes some of Edie's crazy dancing movies ( she always wanted to be a caberet star ) with 'Hung up' from Madonna -it's PERFECT!!!! My ultimately favorite clip on youtube!!


pve design said...

Fabulous Post - eccentricity at it's best !

Be the change..... said...

Yes, there is something to be said for the eccentric! It's not limited to Britain, we have them here in the US!

The Peak of Chic said...

J'adore Grey Gardens! I've seen it twice (the documentary that is), and wanted to see it on Broadway. What about the Marble Faun??!!

Be the change..... said...

There was a great article about the marble faun just last year or so in the New Yorker, Peak, check it out if you haven't read it - it's online at

ALL THE BEST said...

Great post! I've always found the stories to be intriguing. Wish I could have seen it on Broadway.

Alex said...

I got to see the musical when it was playing it's first run off broadway at Playwrights Horizons. It was hysterical, and touching. Everyone did a wonderful job, and while the music wasn't anything all that memorable, the performance and story most definitly was. Two amazing and interesting women.