Episode 1 of Halston begins in 1938, Indiana. A young boy places a hat on his Mother’s head, watching as she smiles. This is the inspiration for what’s to follow, as Halston does all he can to lift her spirits.
We then skip forward to 1961, where our young boy has grown up into a fashion designer who’d given a lifeline. Jackie Kennedy wears a hat designed by Halston and all seems well. Until that turns to despair in 1968.
The company is struggling and Halston is screwed – in more than one way. He begins sleeping with a man named Ed and he serves as an anchor of sorts, helping to ground Halston from the heady heights of fashion design.
The hat business is down so Halston instead draws inspiration and decides to reinvent himself, making some dresses for Bergdorf’s. This too goes wrong, with no buyers after the fashion show.
Halston decides to go it alone and heads out to a show, where the enigmatic Liza Minelli (with a Z not an S) lights the room up with her charisma and charm. It’s just the person Halston needs to model his new designer gear.
The dress he makes for her looks amazing, with rich, passionate-red colours reflecting Halston’s persona.
With everything set up and ready to go, Halston assembles his merry misfit team to help. That is, after securing the rights to a new lot for his studio. There’s Joe Eula, who’s the new illustrator and can help lay out a whole collection on paper.
Elsa Peretti is Halston’s model while Schumacher does the windows, with Halston hoping the boy will bring the young attitude needed.
Of course, with all of this it requires money. A million bucks to be precise. Ed scoffs at the notion incredulously when he finds out. After getting nowhere with some of the men at Bergdof’s, Halston turns to Mrs Marsh. He manages to win her over, allowing her son Michael to model as well to secure the cash needed.
This small win is met with disaster when Halston sees the first set of designs. They’re not good, and he eventually takes it out on Joel Schumacher.
He, in turn, heads off to shoot speed but Halston stops him, demanding he get clean. This faith is well-received, as Joel shows off something he made at home.
The pattern and design paves way for a brand new set of dresses that perfectly exemplify Halston’s signature design. Or at least that’s what he thinks anyway.
The reviews are middling, to say the least, and it takes a phone call from Babe Paley to completely change the game.
Halston visits Joel and tells him to pull himself together. Back home though, Ed confronts Halston and questions his resolve. He hasn’t been smiling and he claims Halston is acting differently.
Ed tries to grow closer to him but Halston pushes him away, claiming he wants to sleep alone.
As the big day arrives, Halston shows off his collection to Babe. She admires the dresses but bemoans that it can’t be worn every day. Well, not to worry – Halston has a brand new material, “Ultrasuede”, which manages to effortlessly portray both sexy and comforting vibes.
Impressed with what she’s seen, Babe decides to take one in every colour.
The Episode Review
Halston kicks off with a lavish first episode, one that immediately thrusts us into this fashion world as Halston’s ambition sees him shoot for the stars and end up on the moon.
It’s clear that Halston’a ascension has only just begun but as the old adage goes – what comes up, must come down.
For now, we’re on the up and Halston sets the scene nicely with some lavish production design and an inspired Ewan McGregor in the driver’s seat.
He effortlessly portrays this character too, with a really great performance. The moments involving Halston’s past are intriguing and hopefully we see more of that in the coming episodes as well.
While the show doesn’t do anything particularly outstanding just yet, it does ease into this world nicely with signs already there for an enjoyable miniseries to come.