When it came to the jet set, Studio 54-era 1970s, there’s only one fashion designer people like Bianca Jagger, Lauren Hutton and Liza Minnelli turned to: Halston.
Just in time for the holidays, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, a new documentary by Whitney Smith, explores the myth and magic of the designer, who died from lung cancer complicated by HIV in 1990.
A former protege of Lilly Daché, Halston was the first American designer to understand the importance of branding and licensing—in addition to couture clothes, he partied with the best of them, created moderately priced lines for J.C. Penny and whipped up glamorous uniforms for Brannif Airlines, the NYPD and even the Girl Scouts. And he managed to remain chic beyond chic the whole time. “I grew up in Hollywood and nothing was as glamorous as Halston,” says Minnelli—who had the designer create furniture for her atelier. (Rumor has it David Guest threw it all on the street when he moved in—on the street!)
You can learn more about the late, great icon when Ultrasuede comes to VOD December 26 or in select theaters next February.