If disco fever, Studio 54, and pillbox hats are more than a distant memory, put on your Halston dress and go see the film, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston.
This week, the Costume Council of LACMA along with support from Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth and David Netto, Katherine Ross, Cameron Silver, Angelique Soave, and Alexandra Von Furstenberg, presented the west coast premiere of the documentary film by Whitney Sudler-Smith. Following the film, guests were treated to a reception in the Los Angeles Times Center Court at the museum.
We had the opportunity to remember Halston, America’s first celebrity designer, and hum a few songs, including “Big Shot” by Billy Joel and “Le Freak (Freak Out)” by Chic. Joel included a line in his song, “You were all impressed with your Halston dress” in his 52nd Street album and Chic’s song was inspired by a night the disco band couldn’t make it past the roped off line at Studio 54 for their own appearance.
It was Halston, they said, who gave birth to ultrasuede in the U.S. It was Halston, himself who said, “You are as good as the people you dress.” I arrived wearing the only ultrasuede dress I could find in my closet.
The film starts with Liza Minnelli, wearing her velvet Halston pants, talking about her personal relationship with the designer. Minnelli wore a yellow Halston dress when she accepted the Academy Award for Cabaret. We are reminded that Halston created the first pillbox hat for Jackie Kennedy for the Presidential Inauguration.
From his start at the Halston department at Bergdorf Goodman, where women were required to wear hats, through the decadent days at Studio 54, the film covered it all. Clearly, the 70s belonged to Halston.
Among the others interviewed in the film, were Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field, who shared her story on how she dressed Sarah Jessica Parker in Halston in an episode where Carrie was dating a politician. Fields said, “It was a play on Jackie O.” Angelica Huston shared some of her runway moments and we
Other attendees included designers James Galanos and Kevan Hall, author Judith Krantz, and Alexandra von Furstenberg, whose mother Diane appeared in the film.