Halston: (Full Series)
May 20, 2021 11:36 AM - All Seasons - Subscribe

Ewan McGregor stars as the fashion designer whose style defined an era and created an empire before his life spun out of control.

The Ryan Murphy-produced limited series follows Halston as he leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that's synonymous with luxury, sex, status, and fame, defining the era.

The Battle at Versailles

Liza With a Z

Elsa Peretti in Vanity Fair, 2014

The Halston documentary (2019), available on Amazon Prime in the US
posted by kitten kaboodle (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a lot to like here! The casting is so much fun (even with one-offs like Rory Culkin and Kelly Bishop). I like Ewan McGregor in this role. I do think it makes Halston into ... not so much a victim, exactly, but gives him less agency than I always understood him to have. Everything I've read and seen indicated to me he really wanted to do the Penneys deal because he wanted people to wear his clothes! He wanted to design clothes! He also loved the fancy lifestyle and the status it gave him. But he was also an addict who was bad at business and people absolutely took advantage of that. I just feel like the whole story is more complicated than this shows it to be.

I like the 2019 doc (the framing with Tavi Gevinson is odd, though). I have a new Halston dress (but you know, that's just Halston in name only) and I would love to one day buy a vintage Halston. But I'm also going through a weird disco fashion phase so ...
posted by edencosmic at 5:48 PM on May 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I have an intense dislike of Ryan Murphy so I was hesitant about this despite a cast with people I like (even if most were in small roles), but I was a bit surprised even within that low expectation at how much stuff was left out or rewritten. It looked fantastic, and the soundtrack was excellent, and I think they did a great job at capturing the excesses of the '70s, but it was definitely strange to see the Penny's deal as being something forced on him, and they completely left out large chunks of important stuff or left out important people (like, Marisa Berenson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Cher were not even really mentioned in the series at all, which is kind of fascinating).

On the other hand, I rewatched the doc tonight and I hadn't realized they basically completely left out the costumes for Martha Graham's Persephone, which is kind of bizarre, and they hardly mentioned Victor Hugo at all, as well. It seems hard to get a really good retrospective on the man in any one place. Both sources leave out Pat Ast after a brief mention.

I was afraid at the end they were not going to show us any of the costumes for the dance, so I was very glad that they crosscut the memories of the ballet with his scenes in the car so we could see a little of that highly regarded work. That they scored it to Cocteau Twins' "Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" was just gorgeous and almost made me forgive a lot of the other sins.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:39 PM on May 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

This has been really compelling so far. Shame I've been trying to cut down on smoking lately.

Just got to the perfume scene. Halston's reaction is so old hat to the perfumist, nice bit of acting on her part.
posted by porpoise at 7:30 PM on May 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

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