He paved the way to Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karen as the first designer to create a true genuine American fashion, but Halson was also a celebrity, synonymous with New York of the 1970s. In the documentary “Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston,” which I watched last night, his friends, Liza Minnelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley, Anjelica Huston, and Billy Joel tell the story of this legend whose rise and fall captures the story of the decadent 70s and the age of licensing. Ultrasuade? He was the first to use it in fashion. Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy in a pillbox had and simple coat for the 1961 presidential inauguration had brought Halston an international fame, and his minimalist chic that we still admire is a testimony to this charismatic man who died in 1990 at 57 of AIDS-related cancer.
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