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Friday, March 20, 2009


Halston 1932-90, American fashion designer, b. Des Moines, Iowa as Roy Halston Frowick; attended Indiana Univ. and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1958 he moved to New York City, designing hats for Lilly Daché and later (1959-68) millinery and clothing for the fashionable Bergdorf Goodman department store.
He acquired many notable clients including Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Diana Vreeland, Mrs. William (Babe) Paley, and Mrs. Henry Ford II. Many of his designs bordered on the fantastic; he used mirrors, fringe, jewels, and flowers to decorate hoods, bonnets, coifs, and helmets. His innovative scarf hat was a much-copied design of the 1960s, and Jacqueline Kennedy made his pillbox hat famous.

Bergdorf Goodman offered him an opportunity to design clothes in 1966, and his first ready-to-wear collection was sold in the Halston boutique at the store. This arrangement was short lived. He left Bergdorf Goodman in 1967, and it closed the boutique upon his departure.

Opening his own salon in 1968, Halston became one of the most acclaimed designers of the 1970s, a favorite of movie stars, art-world denizens, and the general public, and a disco-era celebrity in his own right. His designs were classically simple, elegant, and chic. He introduced Ultrasuede, popularized the cashmere twinset, caftan, halter dress, shirtwaist, spiral skirt, and knee-length pants, and added perfumes and luggage to his label. He also designed costumes for the Martha Graham Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and various stage and film productions.
A biography about Halston is available at
Halston: An American Original

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