"Halston": 11 Iconic Figures Who Appeared In The Netflix Miniseries
- Elsa PerettiElsa Peretti
- Joel SchumacherJoel Schumacher
- Liza MinnelliLiza Minnelli
- Eleanor LambertEleanor Lambert
- Joe EulaJoe Eula
- Babe PaleyBabe Paley
- Ralph LaurenRalph Lauren
- Jackie KennedyJackie Kennedy
- Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Calvin KleinOscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Calvin Klein
- Top Models of the TimeTop Models of the Time
- Pat AstPat Ast
From Liza Minnelli to Joel Schumacher, here are the most notable figures in the American fashion designer's life that made an appearance in the show
Lights! Camera! Fashion! The Netflix miniseries Halston that dropped last Friday has the internet abuzz with myth-busting stories and deep-dives into the American fashion designer's life. Roy Halston Frowick was best known in the Seventies and Eighties for his sexy, lean designs that went against the grain of the time, but fit perfectly into the discotheque era that birthed the legendary nightlife of Studio 54.
The other thing Halston was famous for? The people who surrounded him. Here are the figures in his life who made the biggest impression on the show.
Another close friend of Halston's, the show depicted the Italian socialite as his fit model from the get-go, before her talent for sculpture and jewellery design led her to becoming a designer for Tiffany & Co. Her Bone Cuffs and teardrop bottle pendant remain some of the most iconic pieces ever made for the brand.
While his career as Halston's righthand crashed and burned as seen in the show, Schumacher, played by Rory Culkin, actually went on to become a successful film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for creating the Batman films of the 90s.
Portrayed as tied at the hips in the show, Academy Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Liza Minnelli was Halston's close friend and confidante, known to wear his designs exclusively, even for her wedding day. Minnelli, who is Judy Garland's daughter, is played by actress Krysta Rodriguez.
The demanding and well-heeled publicist who corralled the American designers to go toe-to-toe with established French Houses (who at the time included Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Marc Bohan) in a showdown at Versailles was instrumental in advocating for American talent abroad which led to New York City becoming a reputable fashion capital.
The renowned artist who served as Halston's creative director for 10 years was also a beloved collaborator and illustrator to many other designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. He was portrayed by Tony-nominee David Pittu.
The American socialite who bought up and popularlised Halston's groundbreaking Ultrasuede shirtdresses in the show? That was Barbara "Babe" Paley—yes that Paley—whose husband William S. Paley founded CBS. She served as a fashion editor for Vogue for a stint and was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958. Fun fact: she also kicked off the trend of tying silk scarves to handbags.
While strictly speaking, we only saw his back, according to the show, Halston supposedly got the idea to market a new item to his patrons at Bergdof Goodman from Ralph Lauren (then Lifshitz) who tried to sell wide neckties under the brand Polo to department stores and refused to take no for an answer. True or false, Lauren is an undeniably iconic figure in American fashion.
We might have only seen a quick flash of one of America's most stylish First Ladies in that iconic pillbox hat, but it is worth noting that Halston got his start by creating that memorable piece of millinery which launched his career. When the demand for hats began to wane, that was when Halston reportedly turned to expanding his repertoire to ready-to-wear.
Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Calvin Klein
The household names of American fashion in the Seventies include the designers that Eleanor Lambert invited to show at the Battle of Versailles along with Halston. While Klein, de la Renta, Blass and Burrows were depicted as being much more established than Halston at the time, de la Renta is currently the only designer still actively showing on runways today while Klein and Blass have both gone through several owners and iterations since the designers' passing.
Burrows was widely regarded as the first African-American designer to find international success and his influence can be found on the likes of Brandon Maxwell and Christopher John Rogers today. Depicted as Halston's arch-enemy, on the other hand, is Calvin Klein, who was skyrocketing to fame for his provocative campaign and denim just as Halston's star was falling. The brand is now owned by PVH Corp and as of December 2020, Jessica Lomax, previously Nike's senior creative director of women’s sportswear apparel was named creative director for Calvin Klein.
Top Models of the Time
Did you catch Dilone playing Pat Cleveland, strutting down one of Halston's runway shows? Cleveland, one of the earliest African American models to rise to prominence, was just one of many supermodels of the time that graced his catwalk.
Others include Bethann Hardison, Karen Bjornson, Bianca Jagger, Alva Chinn amongst others who were collectively called "The Halstonettes" for their role as part of the designer's entourage.
The curvaceous and charismatic lady gliding down the stairs at Halston's flagship store was none other than Pat Ast, who served as one of Halston's muses but was perhaps best known for starring in Andy Warhol films including the 1972 movie Heat.
She continued her career in Hollywood, landing roles in films such as The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976), Foul Play (1978), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), and Reform School Girls (1986).