Roy Halston Frowick, known worldwide as simply Halston, was one of the most influential American designers of the 20th century. He helped define ’70s style with his elegant yet sexy dresses that were staples during the disco era, especially among the group of diverse models who followed him seemingly everywhere, dubbed the “Halstonettes.”
Halston was known just as much for his lavish lifestyle as he was for his designs. The designer and his gang of models and celebrity friends were fixtures on the New York City party scene of the ’70s and ’80s, especially at the famous Studio 54. He also regularly hosted parties at his Upper East Side town house with many of his famous friends, including Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Elsa Peretti.
His party-going inspired some of his most popular designs, including the halter dress, which became a go-to look for many women of that era, including friends like Bianca Jagger, Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and many others. In his heyday, Halston described his design approach as “editing the mood of what’s happening” and modestly described his success as “a designer is only as good as the people he dresses.”
Reflecting on his career a year before his
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