Author(s): Steven Bluttal
As the creator of Jackie Kennedy's signature pillbox hat and the designer of choice for Liza Minelli in the 1970s, Halston (1932-90) was synonymous with American style: a modern, minimal yet glamorous look that encompassed everything from flowing caftans to ultrasuede dresses, to uniforms that lent panache to airline attendants and the girl scouts of America alike. Beginning his career in Chicago in the late 1950s, by 1972 Halston had been named 'the premier fashion designer of all America' by Newsweek and was firmly established in New York; he counted such personalities as Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger among his friends and clients. Tall, charismatic, impeccably dressed, Halston personified the lofty ambitions and non-stop nightlife of the 1970s and early 80s. This book, a visual anthology of Halston's life and legacy, includes previously unpublished catwalk photographs, rare archival photographs by Warhol, behind-the-scenes images of fashion shows and parties, one-off sketches and specially commissioned photographs of the collections. Halston embodies a magnificent tour de force of a life and career that are as monumental historically as they are fascinating, even to the less familiar reader.
Steven Bluttal is an independent curator, archivist, and photography editor based in New York. Patricia Mears is Assistant Curator in the Division of Costumes & Textiles at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York.