Roy Halston Frowick Wiki
Roy Halston Frowick Biography
Who is Roy Halston Frowick?
The fashion designer who was known simply as Halston loved nothing more than throwing outrageously outlandish parties for his famous friends.
For Elizabeth Taylor’s 46th birthday celebration, she ordered a cake, decorated with a photo of her in one of her revealing dresses, and served it to guests alongside 46 scantily clad members of the Radio City Rockettes dance group.
On another night at the same famous spot, New York’s notoriously debauched and celebrity-infested Studio 54 nightclub arranged for Bianca Jagger, one of its most devoted fans, to commemorate her 32nd birthday on a white horse that she rode through. of the dance. floor run by a naked man wearing only body paint.
The fashion designer loved nothing better than to throw outrageously extravagant bashes for his famous friends.
And we must not forget another Halston party at the club, when dozens of snow-white doves were released, only for the poor birds to be exhausted under the beam of powerful overhead lights, raining charred feathers on the dazzling partygoers. party downstairs.
Fortunately, few would have been sober enough to realize it. And certainly not the host of him, a man who spent much of his time at Studio 54 snorting cocaine in the DJ booth.
Roy Halston Frowick was once hailed as America’s greatest fashion designer, specializing in minimalist designs on luxury fabrics and is credited with dressing American women for a ‘laid-back urban lifestyle’.
Unfortunately, his success went to her head, not to mention his nose.
The ‘king of New York nightlife’ who made himself in the carefree 1970s and emcee at nightly bacchanalia, he soon ended up hooked on drinking, drugs, and boys for hire.
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And in a city that prided itself on excess and extravagance, Halston, who once sent a private jet just to fetch his dinner for the night, left the competition standing.
But when, in the shadow of AIDS in the 1980s, New York sobered up, his Faustian fall was as dramatic as his rise.
Tragically, after a series of business setbacks that followed his disastrous decision to sell his fashion brand at the height of his fame, he died of an AIDS-related illness in 1990.
Now, however, Halston is back in the spotlight he craved when Netflix releases a five-part drama series (Halston) starring Scottish actor Ewan McGregor as the troubled designer.
Based on an alternately flattering and brutal biography, Simply Halston by Steven Gaines, the series covers his sordid private life and, like his life, is anything but moderate.
There’s endless substance use and lots of explicit sex and outrageous behavior, including a remarkable scene where Halston brings his lover’s jockstrap to a perfumer as inspiration for his first fragrance.
The designer’s family, however, has condemned the series as an “inaccurate and fictitious tale.” However, if the drama had tried to sanitize Halston’s life, he certainly would have been the first to complain.
The five-part drama series (Halston) will star Scottish actor Ewan McGregor as the troubled designer
At the height of his powers, at Studio 54 and in his spectacular Manhattan home, where he hosted dinners with champagne, caviar, cocaine and carnality on the menu, the imperious Halston dominated a court of fawning celebrities, including Liza Minnelli, Anjelica Huston, Truman Capote, Margaux Hemingway, Calvin Klein, and Andy Warhol.
He was a genius at marketing and self-promotion, with a squad of models nicknamed the ‘Halstonettes’ accompanying him wherever he went, climbing out of limousines dressed in his sexually revealing designs to ensure his entrance was always the most glamorous highlight. of all night.
“Beautiful people attract attention” and “You are only as good as the people you dress” are two of the most quoted statements of him.
He was 6 feet 2 inches tall and conspicuously handsome. He often wore all black, had his hair slicked back, and almost always wore sunglasses that hid his piercing green eyes, even in nightclubs.
While some insisted that his arrogance was an act, the man nicknamed ‘His Highness of him’ behaved so arrogantly that even Andy Warhol was said to have been intimidated by him.
Some of the connoisseurs of fashion complain that Halston deserves to be taken more seriously for his contribution to American fashion, and there is no doubt that his private excesses often too easily drown out his public achievements.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, and raised in Indiana, Halston had an accountant father who was an alcoholic with a tendency to flatter the rich that he had passed down to his son.
But Halston was talented and, even as a child, he knew that fashion and design were his strong suit. At seven he was already making hats on his grandmother’s sewing machine.
In 1952, he moved to Chicago and took evening art courses while working as a window dresser.
By 1953, he had opened his own hat business, with clients such as actresses Kim Novak, Gloria Swanson, and Deborah Kerr.
Then, in 1957, he moved to the Big Apple, finding work as a hatter, designing for the famous Bergdorf Goodman store.
His breakthrough came when he made the signature pillbox hat that Jackie Kennedy wore to the JFK grand opening in 1961. It was an instant fashion sensation, though Halston later admitted that the design was something of an accident.
It had actually started out as a domed hat, only for Ms. Kennedy to dent it while patting it to prevent it from blowing off.
In 1968, Halston opened his own couture house on New York’s prestigious Madison Avenue, and soon he had America’s richest and most glamorous women eating out of his hand, licking his big personality and outrageously affected speech.
Connoisseurs whispered that he adopted his aloof and languid sensibilities just because he thought this was how fashion designers were supposed to behave, and that deep down he was actually a ‘sweet, grown-up kid from the Midwest’ .
Magnetically charming, she lavished flattery on customers, deftly reducing her clothing so customers would think the size 14 they were wearing was actually a size 10, while affecting a nonchalance about making money that hid her keen business instincts.
He described his customers as his ‘friends’, with whom he would sit on the zebra-striped bench in his store listening to jazz as they sampled his wildly expensive creations ‘just for fun’.
Those ‘friends’ ranged from the wives of American billionaires (the Fords, Astors, and Mellons) to movie stars like Raquel Welch, Lauren Bacall, Catherine Deneuve, and Ali MacGraw.
Between 1968 and 1973, it was estimated that his fashion line made $ 30 million ($ 200 million today) in sales, and he was spending the money as fast as he came along.
Hailed as America’s first internationally acclaimed fashion designer, his weakness for his epic self-indulgence threatened to cause his respectability to crumble at any moment.
He permanently ‘lived on the edge,’ as his biographer put it, once he was arrested for committing a sex act in Central Park in the 1960s.
He bought the affection of celebrities with gifts of drugs and sometimes cash – a typical Halston birthday present was an orchid (Halston spent £ 110,000 a year on flowers) accompanied by a bottle of cocaine.
He loved to host wild dinners for his Halstonettes, for members of Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory’ movement, and for prostitutes at his elegant all-gray house on East 63rd Street.
Usually he served steak followed by drugs (cocaine or Quaaludes, an immensely powerful sedative) and sex for “dessert.”
“Put it this way, it wasn’t about the food,” said one of Halston’s guests of the evenings.
Roy Halston Frowick Quicks and Facts
- Roy Halston Frowick loved to throw extravagant parties for famous friends
- The fashion designer soon wound up hooked on drink, drugs and rent boys
- Halston back in spotlight he craved as Netflix releases a five-part drama series