Episode 2 of Halston begins with our fashion designer out with a woman named Eleanor, bemoaning his lack of funds and how he can’t keep up with demand.
The Babe deal has been an overwhelming success and this brings new woes for Halston. We’re in 1973, with Eleanor determined to put American fashion on the map. Her swan song is in Versailles and she wants Halston there, but he’s not interested in going.
Money woes continue as Halston finds himself working in the dim glow of a single light. David Mahoney’s offer to buy out Halston is now starting to look more favorable but our fashion designer is not so sure.
Eventually he agrees to see David again, showing off the shop to him where the enigmatic Pat Ast is located. Ed is the general manager there too, but David can see straight through Halston’s facade. He knows there are capital issues and that they can’t keep up with demand.
Sitting down together in the salon, he hits Halston with a provisional figure. 7 million in stock plus an extra cash payment in the future to be decided. It’s certainly a compelling offer, and it’s one backed up by his promise to make Halston a star.
Back in his office, Halston speaks to Eleanor again and now she knows he has money issues. Well, everything has been paid for and he’s going to go to Versailles – all expense paid. It’s also going to pave way for two dozen new costumes to be designed… in three weeks.
Halston’s stress sees him turn to drugs as he tries to put the pressure out of his mind. Even worse, with no Schumacher given he’s been fired, time is running out. Halston relies on Liza to help him with the show.
The time arrives and the whole team flies over to France, ready to work. Halston is unhappy with the conditions for his studio though, until Eleanor convinces him to do his best to prove the naysayers wrong.
David shows up too and confirms there’s some heavy hitters arriving – so no pressure then! Stress starts to consume Halston, as he takes himself away from the crowd and into his car. The stress is just too much but Liza sits with him, telling him the fear and worry are just part of the job.
After finally heading back inside and doing his absolute best with the team, Halston braces himself. The team get a rousing round of applause, as all the people in attendance clap and throw their papers in the air. Halston however, smiles uneasily as the spotlight falls to him.
Despite the freedom they now have, Joe worries that he’s sold himself out. The Halston name will never be the same but Halston reminds his partner that it’s 7 million dollars in stock.
The Episode Review
Halston’s ascension is now realized fully as the enigmatic designer manages to climb up to the heights of stardom.
The Versailles show is a smash and the entire production design for this segment is wonderfully done. The lavish gig and the costume design work beautifully and everything comes together in the best way possible.
However, this also comes back to the usual Ryan Murphy issues with these pics of style over substance. There are glimmers of Halston’s woes and insecurities but they’re never given enough time to really blossom in the limelight.
That’s a shame really because Ewan McGregor is a fantastic actor and could very easily bring this to life.
So far Halston has been a solid watch and the ending certainly leaves the door wide open for more. Whether this will actually dive into the more intricate details of Halston’s life however, remains to be seen.