5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HALSTON, THE ICONIC FASHION DESIGNER IN THE LATEST NETFLIX SERIES
Halston, the iconic fashion designer of the seventies will be the subject of Ryan Murphy's original new series debuting May 14 on Netflix. Portrayed by Ewan McGregor, the show follows the talented designer though out his career, his rise to fame, extravagant lifestyle, and spoiler alert, ultimately his fall. Want to know more? Printemps.com gives you everything you need to watch.
He started out as a milliner
Like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin, Roy Halston Frowick began his career in the fashion industry making women's hats. After starting out in Chicago, he moved to New York City to join Lilly Daché's studio. In 1959, he was hired at Bergdorf Goodman and became head-milliner, forging a name for himself and attracting well-known clientele.
The lasting impact of Jackie Kennedy
The year 1961 marked a turning point. In the middle of the election campaign, Jackie Kennedy called on him to design the headpieces, that she would wear in public while appearing alongside her husband. When John F. Kennedy was elected president, she offered him the position of official designer, which would be eventually given to Oleg Cassini. Nevertheless, on January 20, 1961, during the inauguration ceremony of her husband, she donned the pillbox hat, which became one of Halston's most iconic creations. A defining moment that prompted his career to take off and made him a style setter.
The first "masstige" collection
While a collaboration between an acclaimed couturier and a mass market chain is highly hyped and much awaited for nowadays, it caused quite a controversy when Halston teamed up with retail chain JCPenney for a lower-priced collection in 1983. Even though the designer's intention was to dress "all of America", the venture didn't appeal at all to his partners. Soon after, Berdgdorf Goodman dropped his main line from its stores and others followed.
The Battle of Versailles
The Battle of Versailles, a historic event that propelled American designers to the forefront of the fashion industry, was held on November 28, 1973. It was organized by Eleanor Lambert and Gerald Van der Kem, curator at Palace of Versailles, to fundraise for renovations. As a dinner and fashion show, the competition was between French couturiers in the likes of Marc Bohan, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Hubert de Givenchy - and the Americans camp, consisting of Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass. To the surprise of many, the Americans out shined the French, emphasizing ready-to-wear and sportwear, and brought on a lively show reminiscent of Broadway and disco, as well as the inclusion of black models. It was a clear contrast with the more poised Parisian establishment, which significantly changed the scene.
A friendship with Liza Minnelli
Halston was a regular at Studio 54, often seen in the company of his best friend, Liza Minnelli. Inseparable, the glamourous duo appeared together many times, the singer frequently dressed by the designer. And she didn't miss a beat to support him. At the memorable Battle of Versailles, the showgirl opened and closed each of the five American designers' segments, dazzling the audience with her vibrant performance. A close and sincere friendship that lasted until the death of the designer on March 26, 1990.