This is the best costume for today

“This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don’t like women in skirts, and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt – I think – then you have the pants under the skirt, and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants, underneath the skirt, and you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for today. [Laughs.] I have to think these things up… you know! Mother wanted me to come out in a kimono, so we had quite a fight.”

I have been so irked by the fact that they’re making a new movie of Grey Gardens – was the Maysles‘ documentary film not perfect enough? – that I’ve been ignoring the latest wave of Grey Gardens fandom. I guess cult favourites all fall prey to the clumsiness of Hollywood eventually, and maybe now is the right time for Grey Gardens. Living large on nothing in the midst of galloping disrepair is an interesting allegory for the times, and maybe Grey Gardens mania is a more honest reaction to the current state of America than, say, the cultural items in the previous post. In an interview he did for in the Criterion DVD’s Special Features, Marc Jacobs talks about the clip from the real Grey Gardens, above, which shows the real Little Edie talking about her avant-garde outfit (the interview with him doesn’t seem to be on YouTube). Jacobs loves her DIY style and panache and mentions that her line “This is the best costume for today” has been the motto around his studio for years. Thanks to KEEHNAN for inspiring this by posting on Grey Gardens here and here, better than I could have, based on the amazing photos published by the NYT.

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