May 16, 2021 8:00:49 pm
The new entrant on Netflix is a fictionalised series on American designer Halston. Before you start watching it, here’s a primer on who the designer was.
Born on April 23, 1932, Halston’s full name was Roy Halston Frowick. His designs were mostly minimalistic and in many ways are credited for redefining fashion in America. He was catapulted to stardom when he designed the famous pillbox hat for Jacqueline Kennedy. She wore it at the inauguration of her husband, US president John F Kennedy, in 1961.
Later he started designing for women and owned a high-end boutique on Madison Avenue in New York. He eventually lost rights to this name. A report in WWD stated his most simple designs were the most difficult.
“I made the change from very structured clothes to a more casual look, and fashionable women picked up on it. Whether it was cashmere, jersey or chiffon, it was about a total look. Clothes should be practical, glamorous, functional and spare. But mine weren’t always simple. Some of the simplest looks were actually the most complicated.”
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He was one of the first designers to start a unisex line. His collections included leather jackets and fur coats. By 1975, he had started a different men’s wear collection. Much of the appeal of the designer also resided in specially-curated image. As a fixture almost, he would be surrounded by a group of models, popularly known as Halstonettes. They travelled with him and he dressed them.
The group was diverse and included models like Karen Bjornson, Pat Cleveland, Anjelica Huston among others. The glamour and allure of his persona soon dipped. His extensive dependence on drugs and extravagant lifestyle led to him being ousted from his own brand in 1984. He could not buy his own brand back though he continued designing. In 1990, he passed away at the age of 57. He was battling AIDS-related cancer.
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