The Look

The Girl with the Silver Hair

Edie Sedgwick was an icon of the 1960s, even though her star shone incredibly brightly for barely a year. She was Andy Warhol’s It Girl of 1965, and made several movies with him, the most famous of which is probably Poor Little Rich Girl, which was partly autobiographical for Edie.

Edie’s life was marred by tragedy and mental illness. She explained that her father had molested her as a child, and that her father slapped her when she discovered he was being unfaithful to her mother, and put her in a mental institution. She had drug problems and eating disorders for most of her life, and struggled to maintain relationships with men that did not involve mental or sexual abuse. Both of her older brothers, who she loved dearly, would die young and tragically. Something Edie would, understandably, never fully recover from.

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Her most destructive relationship seems to have been with Andy Warhol, who first saw her as a muse and then began to cut her out of his life and his films as time went on. Although it has been generally accepted that Edie had little acting talent, this assessment has been revised over the past decade or so, Ronald Tavel, who wrote screenplays for Warhol’s The Factory, said of Edie’s acting debut in Vinyl, “[It was] like Monroe in Asphalt Jungle. She had a five-minute role and everyone came running: ‘Who’s the blonde?’”

Edie had a signature look. Her naturally dark hair was dyed or sprayed, depending what you read, a silvery blonde, ostensibly to match both Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow’s legendary locks, as well as Warhol’s light, straight wig. She cut her hair short in order to heighten the androgyny of her image, which was completed with large belts, black tights and very simple tops and dresses, almost boyish in their design. Her earrings were often obscenely large, chandelier like, heightening the short hair and simple clothing.

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As for her makeup, Edie had a very original take. Her large, almond shaped eyes heavily lined in black eyeliner and thick, fanned false eyelashes. Her lips were left bare because of the drama of her eye make up. When you look at photos of her, it’s the eyes you see first, luminous and lamp-like, staring into whatever lies behind the camera. Her thick, darkened eyebrows also frame her lovely eyes in a way that draws even more attention to her eyes.

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Edie would tragically die of a barbiturate overdose at the age of twenty eight after trying to rid herself of a prescription drug addiction that had derailed her entire life. Her last film was Ciao! Manhattan, which like Poor Little Rich Girl, claimed to tell Edie’s story.

Edie has fascinated me for many years, since I was a teenager. I first heard of her thanks to Factory Girl in which Sienna Miller played Edie. Sienna was rightfully praised for her sensitive, realistic performance of a woman who Warhol called “So beautiful, but so sick”. Since then, I’ve often thought about what could have been for Edie. I think if given a chance, and given real support and psychiatric treatment, she could have recovered and had a mainstream acting career.

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Sienna Miller as Edie

And that’s why I chose Edie as the focus of my first instalment in my The Look blog series, because she was not only a fascinating person, but a real style icon who helped define the look of her era.

These are the products I used, but you can totally use whatever works best for you and, most importantly, what you can afford.

  • LA Girl black eyeliner
  • Revlon black winged liquid liner
  • Avon super extend black liquid liner
  • LA Girl white eyeliner
  • LA Girl white liquid liner
  • LA Girl Smokey eyeshadow palette
  • LA Girl Sable lip liner pencil
  • Essence #07 lipstick

And here’s the look, not as perfect as Edie’s, but I was quite happy with it.

What really made Edie’s eyes pop was the double winged effect, which I recreated with liquid liner above the lash liner and black eyeshadow on the crease. The way she applied her liner below her eyes also widened her eyes, as does applying white liner in the waterline.

Because Edie’s eyes were always so dramatic, she wore a pale lip, which means that most of the attention is on the eyes, and the face doesn’t look too “busy” or “crowded”.

I really hope that you enjoyed my first post in this series. Please do let me know what you think, and also please recommend any style icons or actresses of previous decades that you’d like me to try and emulate in this series.

See you soon! xx

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8 thoughts on “The Girl with the Silver Hair”

  1. LOVE it! You did her eye makeup really well. Love how you recreated her pose and expression in that last photo. I think you could very easily become a model, Gabriela. Looking forward to this series.

    I would love to see your take on these ladies: Audrey Hepburn, Jean Harlow, Veronica Lake, Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh.

    Being really nosy here, but what does your tattoo say? I can’t quite make it out in the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Maddy! 💖 I’m so glad you think you did her justice. Oh my that’s the loveliest compliment ☺️ 🤗 😘
      Oh those are lovely requests! I’ll definitely slot them in 🌸
      Please don’t worry, it says Pass On What You Have Learned.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really loved reading this! I’m unfamiliar with Edie but I was touched by her tragic life story. She was such a lovely girl and it’s regrettable that she had to endure such hardship.
    You did such an awesome job with the photos and having a full length article really compliments your efforts. 🤗 Have you ever worn false eyelashes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erica 💖 Yes it’s really sad. I wish it could’ve been avoided. Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed my thoughts on her life etc 🌸 I’m SO bad at applying them 😂 I may try again at some point

      Liked by 1 person

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