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Roy Halston Frowich (1932-1990) dominated the Olympian fashion world in the 1970’s and early 80’s, until he didn’t; his belief in his artistry, lacked perspective, convinced of his infallibility, living and spending without impunity. Frederic Tcheng’s (“Valentino: The Last Emperor”, “Dior and I”) gauzy, glitzy documentary paints a portrait of a megalomaniac whose willowy, waif-like physique matched his models, “Halstonettes”; creator of  Jackie Kennedy’s “Pill Box Hat”, hot-pants, ultra suede; undulating gowns of astounding beauty and prices; renown clients: Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jager, perpetually loyal Liza Minelli; interviews with Marisa Berenson, Pat Cleveland, Faye Robson, Elsa Peretti all spotlight his meteoric rise and devastating plunge from glory.

A boy from Des Moines, Iowa, lauded by New York’s Bergdorf Goodman; the “H” exponentially “branded” everything from couture, perfume to uniforms for Braniff Airlines and the Girl Scouts of America; his halcyon days numbered by his hedonistic nights at Studio 54; drugs, alcohol, release of sexual inhibitions (Halston’s proclivities are subtly alluded to, he died of AIDS); his stratospheric ambition led to his designing deal with J. C. Penney in 1983; elitism erased, Bergdorf’s cauterization of all his creations; shunned by high end stores; he was far ahead of designers creating lines for the masses; Esmark, acquired Halston Limited in 1983 and sounded the death knoll for the mighty, delusional Halston, no longer king, just a titular head, slipping toward serfdom.

“Halston” revives his image, a celestial star, its brilliance, like a supernova, destined for obliteration; its afterglow resonates with remarkability, ingenuity, tinged with wistful, enigmatic style and redolent nostalgia.





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