To review the new Netflix miniseries on the iconic American fashion designer Halston, let’s begin with a few facts that are missing in this presentation. The viewers of these five episodes are two to three generations removed from the culture that Halston represented through his designs. And unless you’re a fashion student or an avid enthusiast, it’s safe to assume you’re not familiar with his work, even though you may have heard the name.
Roy Halston Frowick’s working years stretched from the 1950s to the early 1980s. In this time, he came to define American fashion, especially for the ’70s. He was the first designer of note to design for a department store (JCPenney), a move that was at the time considered beneath them (but now we just love ‘collaborations’ between, for example, H&M and designer X). He was possibly the only American fashion designer who was admired in Europe even though he didn’t come from the pedigree of having assisted French couturiers in his younger years (like Oscar de la Renta did). Beyond that, he continued designing and approving designs for all license deals that he signed, unlike others who simply signed over their licenses to producers to chase expansion (French designer Pierre Cardin is often cited as the most disastrous example of such MO; Pierre Cardin ballpoint pens exist, not joking).