Halston: Ryan Murphy rules in style to create stylish fashion biopic
The mononymous fashion designer Halston had Botticelli’s eye for beauty and Boris Johnson’s head for numbers. He made a name for himself in 1961 designing the pillbox hat Jackie O wore at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and continued to redefine American style with his clean, minimalist designs. Then, at the height of his fame, he lost control of his fashion house and even his own name through a series of terrible business decisions and lavish personal expenses. At least not all that money was wasted: he bought an absolutely huge amount of cocaine and orchids.
Halston’s Life Story is now getting the Ryan Murphy Treatment from Netflix, although the âRyan Murphy Treatmentâ isn’t entirely accurate. The often bold visual style that Murphy has made his signature with shows like Pawl and The politician is dialed here. For good reason. Aesthetically speaking, it’s not really a Ryan Murphy series – it’s the Halston show. It’s not just because of the iconic garments, but the designer’s fabulous interiors as well, which are lovingly recreated everywhere from his much-copied New York-based first boutique to the stunning Manhattan office of glass and mirrored walls in which he found himself. to say, that’s all very stylish.
Ewan McGregor is extremely pleasant and compelling as Halston, a self-made man, which is good news as he’s in just about every scene in the five-episode series. He seems to particularly like Halston’s debauched attitude towards money. âOrchids are part of my process,â he purrs at one point. “You can’t put a budget on inspiration.” McGregor is surrounded by a dynamic cast that includes Bill Pullman as David Mahoney, the glitter-eyed mogul who promises to keep Halston safe in the big business world before his idea for the fashion production turns out to be. more Henry Ford than Tom Ford. Krysta Rodriguez is incredibly fun as Halston’s best companion and muse Liza Minnelli both on stage and off, though one might be tempted to wonder how famous skinny and sleazy Joel Schumacher of 6 feet 3 inches, would feel to be portrayed by a 5 foot 6 inch Rory Culkin energy pack. . If there is justice in the world, Halston will be a star turn for Gianfranco Rodriguez, who has charisma to burn as the intermittent boyfriend of designer Victor Hugo.
Murphy, like Halston, grew up in Indiana dreaming of a glamorous life not in Indiana. He has described in interviews how the designer was one of the few local celebrities as a child and how inspired he was with the idea that someone could actually complete the journey to the land of cornfields and churches. at the party at Studio 54 with Minnelli. and Warhol. HalstonThe treatment of his subject is reverent, the work of a man paying sincere homage to a childhood idol. It also gives Murphy a chance to offer his own take on the well-worn tale of an artist torn between being true to his muse and winning a truckload of absolute cash, but there are few things that really question what went on. thrills Halston. These early formative years are seen only in the briefest of flashbacks.
What we see is Halston building his fashion house from scratch, triumphing at the Battle of Versailles (the historic 1973 fashion show that pitted American designers against arrogant Frenchmen), battling costumes for the desired shape for his perfume bottle and eventually become a household name, but in the end all this success doesn’t do much to change him: he continues to be extremely rude to everyone around him, especially his staff, and relies on his talent to save it from ruin.
The show leaves us with no doubts about Halston’s genius, and the sequences in which we see him conjure up sublime dresses in simple fabric are often touching in unexpected ways. Yet despite all the sex and drugs that surround it, the story itself ends up feeling a bit sanitized. As one of the creations of its titular character, Halston is clean, sleek, and beautiful to look at – but you might wish it was a bit messier around the edges.
Halston Coming to Netflix May 14