FILM REVIEW: Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston (15)

During the 1970s, fashion designer Halston epitomised the chic and the excess of the era when Studio 54 was the place to be seen in New York and Andy Warhol held sway over the art world.

Starting his illustrious career as a hat designer to celebrities, Halston burst into the public consciousness when Jacqueline Kennedy chose to wear one of his iconic pillbox hats to her husband’s inauguration.

Flanked by his starry clientele, including Lauren Bacall, Betty Ford, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor, Halston become the most talked about designer in the whole of America, introducing his silky soft signature fabric, Ultrasuede.

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Then at the height of his fame, he sold his business and aligned himself with the country’s largest chain of department stores, claiming that he wanted to dress the entire country and not just the rich and fabulous.

The gamble backfired and his empire crumbled to its foundations. Documentary film-maker Whitney Smith speaks to the people who knew Halston best, uncovering the chain of events which led to the spectacular downfall of the man who defined the discoball decade.

Released: September 23 (UK, selected cinemas), 93 mins