Halston, the star-spangled fashion designer who dressed the glitzy likes of Elizabeth Taylor (and died over 30 years ago), has come into his own in the After Life. In 2019 he was the subject of a documentary made by Frédéric Tcheng, the writer-director behind 2013’s Dior and I, and now, he’s getting the big budget Netflix treatment.
Ryan Murphy, the American triple threat (writer-director-producer) behind Glee, Pose and The Politician (and regular collaborator with Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband, Brad Falchuk) will be the man behind the upcoming limited edition series. It will follow the fashion maverick’s journey, from growing-up in Iowa to being on the VIP guestlist at Warhol’s Studio 54 trailed by the ‘Halsonettes’ (his favourite troupe of models including Pat Cleveland, Anjelica Houston and Heidi Goldberg).
His minimalist, clean designs – often made of cashmere or ultrasuede – were a phenomenon in the discotheques of the 1970s and redefined American fashion. As seen on Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli and Jackie Kennedy (including that pillbox hat worn to her husband’s inauguration).
Ewan McGregor, eternally gilded in Moulin Rouge glory, will play Halston despite recently admitting he’d never heard of the fashion icon. He told The Hollywood Reporter, ‘to find out that he was so massively famous in his time, and I had never heard of him – that didn’t make much sense to me.’ But after speaking with the series’ executive producer and director Daniel Minahan, who has been trying to turn Halston’s life into a project for nearly 20 years, McGregor was hooked. ‘I could tell instantly from the photographs that I wanted to play him. I could just feel it. There’s something about the way you can see that he holds himself, something behind his eyes. There’s something so intriguing about him as a character.’
When does it air?
Halston, the five-part series, will premiere on Netflix on Friday 14 May.
Who else is in it?
Of course, Ewan McGregor will be playing the titular character Halston, but his famous friends and inner circle will also be depicted, including Liza Minnelli – a close friend of the designer, regularly seen out in his designs – who will be played by Smash star Krystal Rodriguez. French actress and model Rebecca Dayan (The Neon Demon) will play Elsa Peretti, the famed Italian jewellery designer, who designed Halston’s perfume bottle. Bill Pullman (Independence Day) will play David Maohney, the philanthropist who acquired Halston (the brand) in the 1970s. And Gian Franco Rodriguez will star as Victor Hugo, an artist and window designer who was Halston’s longtime on-and-off partner.
Who will write and direct the show?
Dan Minahan, who recently won an Emmy for his work on American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, will direct. In addition to starring in the series, McGregor will also serve as an executive producer, alongside Minahan and White.
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