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Netflix’s Halston is guaranteed to be your next TV obsession.
Starring Ewan McGregor in a career-topping turn as the titular fashion designer, and produced and co-written by television uber-producer Ryan Murphy (The People Vs OJ Simpson, Glee, American Horror Story, a million other things), it’s fabulousness distilled into five hours of television. Pop open some fizz and settle in for some stylish fun.
Set in the glamorous world of the New York City party scene of the 70s and 80s, Halston ascends to fashion Valhalla by designing sexy, sensual dresses for the glitterati - Liza Minnelli, Anjelica Huston, Bianca Jagger - snorting enough coke to fell a rhino and living it up at Studio 54.
The show is fashioned-filled, gorgeous to look at, celebrity-packed and more than a touch scandalous. But there will be one primary takeaway - if you weren’t already in love with them - you’ll be dying to dress in Halston (or Halston inspired) designs.
What do Halston designs look like? What is the essence of Halston design?
Think of Halston design, think of clean, sleek, slinky lines. They’re flowy yet cling to the right places. The man himself describes the aesthetic best. Speaking in Vogue in 1980, he said “I think, probably, it’s that I cleaned up American fashion at a particular point in time It was just getting rid of all the extra details that didn’t work—bows that didn’t tie, buttons that didn’t button, zippers that didn’t zip, wrap dresses that didn’t wrap. I’ve always hated things that don’t work.
“Whether it was cashmere, jersey or chiffon, it was about a total look. Clothes should be practical, glamorous, functional and spare.”
Can I buy Halston dresses in the UK?
Yes - there are designs released under the Halston name that subscribe to the basic tenets of Halston fashion - draping materials, cool, sleek necklines, bold colours, soft, tactile fabrics.
Better still, Halston Heritage sells dresses fashioned on the vintage designs of Halston himself. That means jumpsuits, draped gowns, asymmetric dresses, and flowing kaftans.
The Halston range is available via The Outnet. You can also pick up some gorgeous, reasonably priced Halston Heritage pieces from eBay.
See below for our favourite picks.
Do they still make Halston perfume?
Episode three of Halston memorably depicts the designer’s creation and marketing of Halston’s perfume. After an emotional consultation with ‘nose’ (professional parfumier) Adele, played by Vera Fermiga, they collaborate to create a perfume that is sensual, feminine and musky.
His beloved muse Elsa Peretti designs the bottle (at great cost) in the shape of a tear-drop - and the perfume is a staggering success.
If you want to buy the perfume, you can. With bitter herbs and mint, leavened by the sexiness of wood and oakmoss, it’s a dusky, filthy perfume - one that it’s easy to see the appeal of.
It has the same composition of the 1975 perfume, meaning it features top notes of mint, melon, green leaves, peach and bergamot; middle notes of carnation, orris root, jasmine, marigold, ylang-ylang, cedar and rose; and base notes of sandalwood, amber, patchouli, musk, oakmoss, vetiver and incense.
Buy here from Allbeauty
Halston - the documentary
If the Netflix series has you gasping to learn more about Halston, Frédéric Tcheng directed an excellent (fashion heavy) look at the legendary designer, also called Halston, in 2019.
It’s available to stream on Amazon Prime. If you don’t have a Prime membership, you can do a 30-day free trial via this link.
Great Halston designs available in the UK
Odds are, if you watch the scene where Halston dresses Liza Minelli for the first time, you thought, gosh, I want that wrap-neck silhouette, as he clads her in a stunning, and characteristically Halton-esque gown.
Comfortable to wear, flattering, and showing off shoulder (everybody has lovely shoulders), a wrap-neck outfit is timeless and chic.
Here, this gorgeous jumpsuit offers the iconic neckline with flattering, easy-to-wear wide-legged-trousers.
This is not a Halston design, but a tip of the cap in his direction. Halston designed Liza Minelli’s gorgeous yellow suit for her second wedding (to Jack Haley Jnr), and this stunning jacket from French Connection captures the same sleek tailoring, soft butter yellow, and ease of wear of the Halston design.
Episode two of Halston sees the designer go supernova with the sale of an ultra-suede shirt dress at Bergdorf Goodman.
Introduced in the fall of 1972, the knee-length garment, known as model number 704, ignited the fashion world and became synonymous with Halston.
This lush Altuzarra take offers the feminised riff on men’s button shirts, cinched with a thin, chic belt. Stunning.
Also synonymous with Halston was the halter-neck dress - in the miniseries Elsa Peretti and Liza Minelli float around in open-backed, draped dresses, fixed at the waist. It’s a sexy look that allows plenty of movement (hello, Studio 54).
This Asos Edition halter-neck dress captures a hint of the Halston look - perfect for summer days that lead into hot, party-fuelled summer nights.
That said, if it has to be Halston - you can’t do better than this bold, flirty, classic halter-neck in stunning teal. Perfect for dinner dates or nights on the dancefloor.
Another Halston triumph was his range of drapey, easy to wear, oh-so-feminine kaftans in luxurious, rich patterns.
Yes, this is a kimono, not a kaftan, (modern kaftans might leave Halston unimpressed), but it captures the louche, decadence of a Halston kaftan. Perfect for swanning around the house, or lounging by the pool.
See those party scenes set in Studio 54, where everyone looks amazing (and famous)? Most of the most stunning women in the world were in Studio 54 in the 70s, wearing a slinky Halston design with an asymmetrical, one-shoulder design.
This beautiful rich-green dress is ideal for channelling some 70s supermodel realness. Easy to wear and stunning.
Of course, you may have little cause to wear a gown, minidress or jumpsuit.
If you still want a hint of Halston, this asymmetric top can be dressed up or down to introduce his unique glam. Ideal for heading out, even if it’s just to the pub.
Tres chic, mystique. The height of elegance and insouciant cool, there’s nothing more declaratively stylish than a white jumpsuit (Solange got married in one).
This crepe and satin one is to-die.
Slouchy and sexy, made from soft, tactile jersey fabric. Perfect for a big night out when the clubs open.