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The Icon of Minimalistic Fashion

by Aparajita Jaiswal

July 16, 2021

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From a mediocre hat designer to one of the prime influences on American Fashion, Halston emerged as one of the greatest illustrators of minimalism and luxurious fashion. As halter necks still tend to be one of the greatest trends in fashion today, one shall go back to the 1970s when Halston gave the halter neck an upgrade with his luxurious touch. Surrounded with silk tranquillity, his halter dress which he designed for his closest one, Liza Minnelli gained immense amount of recognition. It was simple, classic, sophisticated in every way with a hint of luxury.  

In the most momentous fashion shows in the history of American Fashion, The Battle of Versailles, his victory marked the birth of an icon with his magic and gained gigantic fame. He was also notable for the diversity of race and culture in his models which represented his art. His work and closed affiliation with some of the renowned faces like Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger brought him more recognition. Halston created a water-proof trench coat, expanding his brand across the country. 

As much as he liked to party at the Studio 54, he gave birth to Disco-Dressing and entered the world of shimmer in the form glitzy glam and sequined outfits. But nothing took take place of the glamour of the Halter, which was popularized across America. His appeal of sophisticated fashion comes from the fantastic choice of materials he used for his designs. From cashmere silk to shimmering satin, Halston had it all. The brand logo itself expressed Halston’s love for minimalism.  

If one watched the Netflix documentary “ Halston”, they could notice how he surrounded himself with minimalism, through his choice of dark colours in his house and his office furnished with red walls and glass. His day to day black outfits with long coats of mostly beige, expressed his monochromatic lifestyle.  

Growing a brand by creating vast varieties of products and lines can be very challenging, but Halston loved challenges. Beginning with dresses refining classy appeal, he introduced his monochromatic taste through a line of luxurious luggage, red carpets, aviators, bath robes, and what not.  

Eventually, He ended up selling his brand and his name to Norton Simon Inc. For which he was offered approximately 11 million dollars. He became the Creative Director of the brand he founded. Side by side, Halston became an addict of cocaine consumption because of his regular visit to Studio 54. He also faced relationship crisis the same time his business was steeply moving towards decline. 

A dialogue of Halston (Ewan McGregor) from the Netflix documentary, – “ I must be a real artist because I am a terrible businessman” – touches ones heart. Money brings fame, but it can also take away everything.  

Halston spent his last days driving to San Francisco, soon after he was tested positive for AIDS related lung cancer. After two years in Francisco, the world lost an iconic designer in March 1990.   

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