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Netflix’s life of Halston is all about the fashion. Here’s the story behind 9 key looks
Halston, the mononymous American fashion designer whose stripped-back, body-freeing take on luxury — caftans, halter dresses and acres of Ultrasuede — was a defining look of the ‘70s, continues to fascinate.
Maybe that’s because his career, now more than three decades in the rearview mirror, still feels so contemporary, both in terms of his aesthetic — riffs on his shirtdress are everywhere and when haven’t caftans been a thing? — and his business strategy — including the once-novel concepts of brand extensions and diffusion lines. Or maybe it’s because the dramatic arc of his career from anonymity to high-flying celebrity designer to scandal-page fodder makes him seem like a victim of Me Decade cancel culture. Whatever the reason, Halston’s life seems to be perennially ripe for exploration in books (including Steven Gaines’ “Simply Halston”) and documentaries (most recently in 2010 and again in 2019). And, most recently, a five-part miniseries.
“Halston,” premiering Friday on Netflix, is a passion project 20-some years in the making for executive producer and director Dan Minahan, whose fascination with the New York scene inhabited by Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Halston and Victor Hugo came from reading Interview magazine and After Dark magazine as a gay kid in the suburbs of Connecticut. The genesis for “Halston” would take shape years later, in his 20s, after reading Gaines’ Vanity Fair article that later developed into “Simply Halston.”
“I read it and I was so struck by it that I started reading other things about Halston and this world,” Minahan said. “The hook for me was this idea of someone coming to New York, creating this made-up name, building it into an empire and then being stripped of his name and company — he couldn’t be Halston anymore. And to me that was very rich. It seemed like a really archetypal American story.”
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