Oct 1, 2011

Designer du Jour: Halston, AKA Serendipity


Designer du Jour: Halston, AKA Serendipity

Now this is one designer who falls within my memory. I wasn’t wearing his clothes, you understand, but I do remember the heyday, if in a foggy way. The thing is, by the time Halston’s work made it to Mid America, the sexuality was cleaned up quite bit, and the quality was a bit lower. But the influence was there. The clean lines, the skinny fit, the fluid fabrics, and above all else in Middle America: The Ultrasuede. It sure wasn’t cheap, but it was absolutely everywhere for quite some time.

Roy Halston Frowick ( 1932 - 1990). First a milliner at Lilly Dache, then Bergdorf Goodman, then a designer of couture, ready-to-wear and licensed fashions. The biggest thing going in the 70s and a multiple Coty Award winner, his first ready to wear line came out in 1969. He sold his company and name in 1973, and was fired in 1983. The history of this label is a long and complex one, with lots of licensing, multiple sales of the company and Halston’s name, many, many  later designers, and ongoing attempts to revive the line, including Halston Heritage.

The main thing to remember is that there are the Halston labels, and then there are Halston III and Halston IV licensed lines that were completely designed by others after Halston was fired.  For a timeline of the dizzying ins and outs:  The Wall Street Journal 

Now for the serendipity portion of this post:

I was thrilled to find a 1970s silk Halston wrap dress locally. And really lucky, as I doubt there were few that made it to this part of the country. While I was researching it, as I am wont to do, I found that Leslie Hindman Auctioneers was offering a very similar dress in red at their Sept. 20 Vintage  Couture & Accessories Auction. What a treat to see a such a similar dress on the market now!

Our beautiful Halston, now available at Past Perfect Vintage:

1970s Vintage Halston Evening Dress in Nude Silk Satin
And here's a link to the Red Halston at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

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