It's always interesting to take a step back an observe the greater context surrounding what we Grey Gardens fans are so focused on. This article was a nice little read.
And it mentions "Internet blogs". Hurrah!
From Reuters, by Christine Kearney, on 6 November 2006
Jackie O's quirky kin subject of musical, movie
At a Manhattan piano bar, several cross-dressing men sport the same look: ripped nylon stockings, brown wrap skirt and cashmere sweater tied in a makeshift head scarf.
The look, inspired by the deceased aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is "at the forefront right now," said bar patron Jym Benzing.
Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edie, have emerged from cult status and moved into the mainstream, inspiring imitators and show business productions.
The reclusive, eccentric relatives of the former first lady were the subject of a 1975 documentary "Grey Gardens," which chronicled their lives in a dilapidated 28-room mansion of the same name.
Now the women are the subject of a major Hollywood movie, two smaller films, and a Broadway musical, "Grey Gardens," which opened last week. Their unique sense of style has inspired fashion designers and admirers.
The musical's writer, Doug Wright, said the younger Beale's penchant for breaking into song--shown in the original documentary--was the impetus for the show, first performed off-Broadway this year.
"The (documentary) has always been popular in artistic circles," Wright said.
Interest has since branched out from film enthusiasts and designers to a much larger audience, he said.
Wright noted that contestants on the popular TV fashion design competition "Project Runway" were given Beale-like tasks including "going to the city dump and turning that into couture."
"Little Edie (the younger Beale) was doing that back in the 70s and so she does seem to be enjoying her moment," he said.
"We only wish that she were still here with us to see that she finally achieved the fame that always eluded her in life."
Edie Beale, who was an aspiring actress, died in 2002. Her mother died in 1977.
Albert Maysles, the 79-year-old director of the 1975 Beales documentary, said the women regularly inspired dress-up parties based on their fashion sense, but the latest fascination was unprecedented.
"I never could have anticipated it would stretch its wings as far as a Hollywood film and a Broadway musical," said Maysles, who will release a film showing the making of the musical.
Maysles just released "The Beales of Grey Gardens," a film showing new footage of the former socialites, who lived in the Hamptons in Long Island, New York. A Hollywood film starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore is slated for 2007.
Fashion designers have cited the Beales, particularly "Little Edie," as muses for their designs. Internet blogs and sites like You Tube draw audiences charmed by their quirky individualism.
"No one has ever looked, sounded or lived like the Beales," said New York designer Todd Oldham, a host on the MTV show "House Of Style."
From "Little Edie's remarkable personal style, to the withered glamour of their living circumstances," the Beales were "completely fascinating," Oldham said.
"It's the Beales' spirit of total freedom that remains influential to me even today."