HALSTON, THE LEGENDARY fashion designer, sits in the two-story living room of his multimillion-dollar town house, his face slicked with bronzing gel. He wears a black turtleneck, black slacks and red blazer, the outfit that was his signature when he was America’s foremost fashion designer. A fire fills the fireplace, white orchids fill the entry. Halston puffs a True cigarette through an elegant white holder. Dusk is an hour away but Mohammed, Halston’s manservant, has already lighted the candles scattered on the stairs, the tables and the floor.
It is a scene that Halston has staged many times before, in better days. Days when he created clothes for Jacqueline Kennedy, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger; days when Esquire magazine was moved to ask ”Will Halston Take Over the World?”
He did not rule the world back then, in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, but he did rule all of fashion. Halston was the first American designer-celebrity. The press chronicled his every move, and a party became the place to be when he swept in.
His view of fashion made him famous; he was one of the first to define American fashion, taking the understated, casual, comfortable clothes that American women love and making them of the most luxurious and expensive of fabrics. But if his clothes brought him into the spotlight, it was his personality that kept him there. He had an air of the grand seigneur, an insistence that only the most expensive and exquisite things surround him. READ MORE