[Continued from Part 1…]

Following are some fond remembrances I have of Edwige…

Upon seeing Edwige working the door, at Le Palace; Yves Saint Laurent insisted that Edwige come to his atelier.  There, he designed a version of his Le Smoking for her, in white, with red trim.

She remains one of the best storytellers I’ve ever met.  She would keep me spellbound, for hours.

Was responsible for putting Billy Beyond (nee Erb) in drag, for the first time (as a cigarette girl).

Introduced Pierre Commoy to Gilles Blanchard, giving the world Pierre et Gilles.

She taught me that pulling your hair back, into a tight, high ponytail was like an instant facelift.

Was the inspiration for the song "Sweetest Taboo" by Sade.

Upon seeing her picture amongst the coverage of that year’s Wigstock, Edwige looked at me and implored “Argh!  I’m always ‘Glamour Dyke’ or ‘Lesbian Chanteuse’ to them.  Why?”  Before I could respond, our dinners arrived, and she proclaimed “I love these Malpeque Oysters!”

At Armen Ra’s birthday party, at Beige, in 1998; Edwige took the mic, and serenaded Armen with a clever spin on “The Girl from Ipanema” that she redid as “The Girl from Beige” (“Young, not tan; nor tall, but slender…”)

One of the times I truly wish I’d carried a camera with me, in the ‘90s, was at Beige.  This one night, in the center banquette, sat Larissa, Edwige, and Armen, like the Fates (or the Furies).  All with black hair, white skin, and red lips; brows and cheekbones, sharp enough to slit your wrists; and comme d’habitude, black-on-black wardrobe.  It’s an image that’s been seared into my mind, and one I hope never to forget.

In the spring of 1998, a DJ client of mine was performing at Shampoo Nightclub, in Philadelphia, PA; and insisted on hiring a car and driver to bring some of us to see him.  The quartet, that night, included Armen Ra, Edwige, John Badum, and me.  A couple of amusing things transpired, that night, making it truly memorable:

  1. A short, androgynous, bespectacled lesbian became immediately infatuated with Edwige (and really, who could blame her?). Sadly, due to the volume at the club, she was convinced that Edwige’s name was Andoonj, and proceeded to call her that, all night.  Henceforth, Andoonj became Armen’s nickname for Edwige.
  1. On the way to Philadelphia, in the back of the limousine, John and Edwige got into a hilarious discussion about who knew which designer, longer. Armen and I just sat there, trying not to laugh (and failing, miserably).  Upon hearing of Edwige’s passing, we joked that they’re probably in Heaven, discussing who knows Jesus better (and that John will be bragging about having arrived, first).

Wikipedia defines “coolness” as “an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance, and style; influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist.”  This described Eddy to the proverbial ‘T’ – except for one thing: it was undeniably she who influenced the Zeitgeist (and virtually everyone with whom she came in contact), not the other way around.  Thus, she is perhaps the coolest person I’m ever likely to meet. 

Edwige - Aleha HaShalom

Get into it!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Part 1 contained photos through the ‘70s; while Part 2 features photos from 1980 onward.  Wherever possible the photographer and approximate date are given.]