Channeling Edie Sedgwick: A Glamorously Ethereal Guide to the 60s

I want to show you how to channel a 60s vibe that isn’t so OBVIOUS.
Publish date:
August 2, 2012
DIY, 60s, edie sedgwick

I have multiple celebrity shrines in my home. This tends to give people an incurable case of the wiggins because said shrines usually feature music and fashion icons that are unfortunately deceased (all the best ones are!).

As a girl, I was quietly obsessive about fashion and fashion icons, always fumbling through Vogue and begging my mother to hang her vintage Marilyn Monroe movie poster in my cotton candy pink room. As I got older, hastily cut magazine clippings of Sid and Nancy, Kurt Cobain, Kathleen Hannah, Courtney Love, David Bowie as Ziggy Startdust and endless other iconoclasts at their prime began to obscure the overwhelming pinkness of my room. I started to toy with this curious combo that featured a bloodied Sid Vicious next to an image of a cutesy Blythe Doll, Marilyn Monroe in tulle next to a screaming Bikini Kill poster. The dark and the light. The awesomely rebellious and the expected.

This is where Edie Sedgwick came into play. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dead starlet, Edie was a leading figure in Andy Warhol’s Factory days. A free spirit (ugh, sorry) of sorts, Edie cut off all her long, brown locks upon joining the Factory crew and dyed her hair an envious platinum blonde. An almost white kind of blonde. So punk rock. I loved her immediately. Cue magazine clippings and swooning.

Actually Eddie

But the story didn’t end with Edie flipping the bird to Warhol and his minions who got her hooked on drugs and dropped her. She died super young with nothing tying her to Warhol’s success (unless you count that Velvet Underground song, "Femme Fatale" which is awesome, listen to it now). I so badly wish she ended up having the chance to evolve away from the Factory to become this awesome feminist artist that publicly shamed the Warhol clan, but alas, she very much did not.

Regardless, I still felt so inspired by Edie for some reason. Not only was she beautiful, sharp and undeniably sparkling anywhere she went, she carried this darkness with her at all times. Accounts of drug abuse, a terrible family life, and eating disorders plagued her while she served spritely, eccentric, fashionista realness to the public. It all felt so very poignant and sad to me as a teenager who reveled in muddying my girlishness with some trademark angst.

WOAH, that was a long intro to a beauty tutorial about Edie Sedgwick. Don’t worry, this won’t be a run-of-the-mill 60s eye makeup tutorial for the zillionth time online, though I’ll still show you how to do all that. I want to show you how to channel a 60s vibe that isn’t so OBVIOUS. Observe the traditional 60s vintage interpretation below. Also, check out part of my Edie shrine behind me:

Tried and True? More like TIRED and true. Air high five.

Yes, the short, shapeless dress is cute, but it’s been so overdone that it’s become synonymous with the 60s, ya know? The 60s are all about fur, big accent jewelry, and yes, short dresses, but more GLAMOROUS short dresses. Equal parts ethereal beauty (channeling the spirit of all things Edie) and equal parts bold (think makeup and fur coats). Let’s get rockin’.

PART ONE: The makeup.


It’s all about the eyes. Think: BOLD, BLACK, THICK LINES. Be sloppy, it looks better. Line the crease of your eye with black eye shadow and follow that line with liquid eyeliner afterwards. Then do eyeliner on the bottom lid, but don’t line the inside of your lid like we are basically programmed to do nowadays. Use your bottom eyelashes as a guiding dotted line for eyeliner… 60s gals loved visible eyeliner lines, people!

Use tons of mascara on top and bottom lashes. And if you don’t have dark brows (which I do not) use a brow darkening pencil! This stuff from Maybelline works like a charm, chiquitinas.

PART TWO: The Outfit.

Yes Edie wore black tights and insanely short dresses that were really more like shirts upon closer inspection. But that’s not all she wore. Edie loved metallic monochromatic ensembles; huge, shiny jewelry; obscene fur coats and sensual sheerness.

So if you want to channel the spritely, goddess-y, glamorous version of Edie (as I love to do), I’d suggest going for looks that don’t bank on the 60s bold print and minis that have become the vintage norm. Check out these dresses from Mod Cloth, par example:

Mod Cloth Option #1

Mod Cloth Option #2

They both have signature 60s shapelessness, but the asymmetry, flared sleeves, and sparkle give them an extra advantage at looking like the more glamorous, otherworldly Edie. Pair that peach one with similarly peach, lace tights and BAM, you look like a rad reinterpretation of Edie.

This is what I found in my closet that most closely resembled the style I’m going for.

Unfortunately for you, all these clothing items have been thrifted or stolen from family members. That form-fitting, lace number? My mom’s in college. And I haggled that coat down to $12.99, y’all! But there are equally as fierce fur coats on Etsy that are pretty cheap and super vintage so I wouldn’t get too bummed out about it. Besides, Etsy coats probably have fewer beer (and blood? Please, god, let that not be blood) stains on them. So, there’s that.

PART THREE: The Jewelry.

Edie was all about the big, accent pieces. I showed you my Edie earrings in the Lana del Ray bit before, so I won’t feature those again. Instead, I’ll show you my untraditional 60s choice in wearing an oversized ear-cuff. You heard me. Over. Sized. Ear-cuff. Check out Edie’s.

I, being the crafting fiend that am, made mine out of pipe cleaners, gold ribbon, and charms that I found at my crafting store. I just molded the spiky frame of the cuff with my pipe cleaners and super glued the ribbon and charms onto it.

Not to shabby for a DIY, eh?

It’s so easy and doable! But if you really don’t have an interest in crafting weirdo ear accessories, try buying vintage shoulder-dusting earrings or more demure ear-cuffs here.

Channeling the 60s doesn't have to be so trite, you guys. When channeling signature 60s starlets like Edie, don't be afraid to be inspired by their personal take on the era. Embody Edie as the ethereal, wraithlike, spunky spirit animal that she was. It's OK if you cut out pictures for inspo and end up building a makeshift shrine in the process. It's a judgment-free website, don't you know.