Posts tagged with "Oscar de la Renta"

illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Netflix’s Halston Recap

“You are only as good as the people you dress” – Halston.  

To the world, he is better known as Halston: the first American fashion designer who changed fashion forever. The new Netflix limited series Halston tells the story of fashion legend Roy Halston Frowick.

Created by Ryan Murphy and directed by Daniel Minahan, the five-episode series is adapted from the 1991 book Simply Halston: The Untold Story by Steven Gaines. It focuses on the rise and fall of the late designer (played by Ewan McGregor) known for dressing socialites and celebrities–notably Babe Paley, Liza Minnelli, and Jackie O.

With being the designer that brought American fashion onto the grid, many have been interested in Halston’s life. It is not the first time that his glamorous and tortured story has been put in the spotlight (2019 documentary Halston). But Ryan Murphy takes Halston and produces a version of him that does not try to escape his queerness. Some might not agree with this version of him, but Halston definitely shows us that with fame and status, stardom can also be very lonely.

Episode 1: “Becoming Halston”

The opening shot brings us to Halston’s hometown in 1933: a farm in Evansville, Indiana. Quite creative since his early days, Episode 1 shows Halston taking feathers from the chicken coop and making a hat for his mom. By 1961, he is known for designing Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hats. Unfortunately, by 1968 Jackie O stops wearing them, and Halston’s hats become an afterthought.

The intro shows us how quick trends fade, and Halston sets out on his journey to rebrand himself. He tries to take a page from Ralph Lifshitz (now globally known as Ralph Lauren). Halston tries to create an exclusive American couture line for Bergdorf Goodman. However, the fashion world is not interested in his black and white dresses and not a single piece sells.

Unfazed, Halston meets up with illustrator Joe Eula (played by David Pittu), convincing him to join the Halston team. Eula tells Halston, “You want to be Balenciaga. There’s already a Balenciaga. What we need is to figure out your signature.” At the same time, Halston is introduced to Liza Minnelli (Krysta Rodriguez), who compares Halston’s pillbox hats to her famous mother Judy Garland: “You and me are living under the shadow of something, and we’re both trying to do the same thing.” Minnelli becomes Halston’s first muse, shaping her into a friend and collaborator over the course of the series.

Securing funding of $100,000, Halston gathers a small crew to set up shop: Joe Eula, model Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan), and junior partner Joel Schumacher (Rory Culkin). Halston takes Schumacher’s idea of a flowy, dyed fabric and makes dresses out of them. Though the show doesn’t lead to any sales, it gains American socialite Barbara “Babe” Paley’s interest. During the meeting with Paley (Regina Schneider), Halston shows her Ultrasuede synthetic trench coats, claiming “It’s sexy. It’s comfort. It’s freedom.” She takes one in every color.

Episode 2: “Versailles”

The star of this episode is the iconic Battle of Versailles, which pitted French designers against American designers. In the French establishment is Yves Saint LaurentPierre CardinEmanuel UngaroMarc Bohan (Dior), and Hubert de Givenchy. The American establishment is composed of Oscar de la RentaStephen BurrowsBill BlassAnne Klein, and Halston.

Though at first, Halston was not interested in the 1973 fundraiser for the Versailles, which also doubled as a means to get the American fashion name out to the world. Despite every woman in Central Park wearing his Ultrasuede, Halston tells publicist Eleanor Lambert (Kelly Bishop) that he can’t do a fundraiser because he’s broke. Trying to balance art and commerce, Eleanor sets Halston up with David Mahoney who wants to buy Halston’s licensing, proposing mass production. However, Halston initially refuses, saying “you’re only as good as the people you dress.”

Norton Simon sponsors Halston’s team to go to the Versailles show, and Halston convinces Minnelli to tag along and perform for him. With his entourage, they travel to Paris with 24 designs in an attempt to show their worth to the fashion industry. While nothing seemed to be going right at first – the backdrop size is wrong, costumes have not arrived, looks need to be designed – Minnelli forces Halston to pick himself up as his nerves get the better of him. And Halston does, slaying the runway with a 70s purple sequin dress, topped with a feathered hand fan that gets him a standing ovation. Original designs can be seen here.

By the end of the episode, we see a glimpse of Halston wanting protection from his “magical” childhood that was actually lonely and scary. He signs the contract with David, “If I sign that contract, I must never, ever, be left to feel unappreciated, underfunded, unprotected, unsafe. Promise me that, David.” While not everyone agrees with him selling his name, Halston gets new cash flow at the expense of his trademark name, pushing him through to stardom.

Episode 3: “The Sweet Smell of Success”

Focusing on Halston’s first fragrance, the third episode reminds us of Halston’s roots and the scents that created him. In the opening scene, we watch Elsa design a sensual perfume bottle for Halston, though the gravity defying perfume stopper is not sold to Mahoney. In an interesting conversation about phallic symbolisms, Halston is told the stopper is impossible to manufacture.

Arguing that creativity wins commercialism, Halston writes a check for $50,000 to pay for his own manufacturer, unwilling to compromise the exclusivity of the design. To create his scent, we are met with Adele (Vera Farmiga), who forces Halston to dig into his past for scents that evoke emotions. Adele bends Halston to her demands, and we get to see Halston’s inner, broken child more than ever in this episode. They discuss different scents and the memories Halston has connected to them: his fascination with scentless orchids, spring grass, tobacco, and his lover’s jockstrap.

Liza is off getting married and Halston has a breakdown. His lover boy, Victor Hugo (Gian Franco Rodriguez), points out that Halston just wants yes men and loyalty, and not everyone can do that for him. While work-life balance is not something that Halston achieves, his perfume becomes one of America’s best-selling perfumes, achieving $85 million in sales within the first two years. This led Halston to launch a plethora of new products–including suitcases, sunglasses, and carpets.

Despite all his success, we see that Halston does not find much love at Studio 54. In the heartbreaking final scene, we watch Hugo witnessing his lover having sex with another partner. While people are lined up buying products by Halston, he does not seem to have anything for himself.

Episode 4: “The Party’s Over”

Studio 54-era of Halston’s life: This episode shows Halston’s spiral into drugs and partying. The surplus and gluttony in overwhelming success and his cocaine addiction has him dropping the ball on his business, Liza faints on the dancefloor due to her drug habit, and there is a vent death at Studio 54.

Calvin Klein takes reign as top designer, and Halston spends his time cursing his competitor out. David Mahoney believes that jeans could be Halston’s next best creation and proposes the idea to Halston, in which is declined. As he loses his self-control, Halston designs have stopped selling at a growing rate. On the other hand, Elsa starts to be successful at Tiffany’s as a jewelry designer. Halston’s ego takes a problem with this, as he thinks he is the only one with talent and that Elsa should be thankful for him and give him credit. Belittling everyone around him due to jealousy, Halston pushes everyone away, left with nothing but his own name.

Halston’s mother dies unexpectedly, and this changes his mind about designing jeans when he sees a Calvin Klein commercial (starring Brooke Shields, originally from the 1980s). His ego takes a beating when David tells him he is “six months too late,” and Halston is no longer setting the fashion trends.

Things don’t look up for Halston either, as Mahoney tries to take Norton private and fails, resulting in a change of management. The AIDS pandemic is seen through the lens of Victor who tests positive for HIV, and Liza checks into rehab. Unsurprisingly, Halston is left in isolation by the end of it. With no other choice, he becomes the inhouse designer for JCPenney for some petty cash, and we no longer see the Halston that believed in exclusivity and creative control.

Episode 5: “Critics”

With designing how JCPenney, Halston is no longer having any fun. With pushing everyone around him away, he is only left with his assistant by his side and that is only because she is “getting paid to do so.” Halston begins showing up to the office at dinner, pushing off his deadlines, all while snorting large amounts of cocaine.

The company replaces Halston with designer John David Ridge (Jack Mikesell), the first person that lets Halston know he is an embarrassment, “How dare you be so irresponsible with the empire you spent your whole life working for?”

After being diagnosed with HIV and forced to retire, Halston’s life is put into perspective, and he really thinks about what he wants out of this life. Perhaps afraid that he might die without a final design to call his own, he seeks out his friend Martha Graham, and designs a spandex collection for her show. The reviews for this design gives Halston the acceptance that he was searching for the entire life and he finally admits that “Halston” was not just him, it was his entire team.

The series ends with Halston leaving to the West Coast and spending the rest of his days along the Pacific Ocean, mixed with tearful snippets of him watching Graham’s Persephone.

“We’re given one name… just one. And that’s all we have when we’re on the earth. And that’s all we leave behind us when we’re gone. I wasn’t precious enough with mine.” – Halston to Joe Eula, Halston Episode 5.

While five episodes is not enough to talk about Halston’s magnificent life, we get to see the grandeur of Halston’s reign in Ryan Murphy’s rendition. Captivating and intoxication, we see his friendships and intimate scenes unfolding in the series. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you cannot deny the legacy that is Halston.

“Halston” premiered May 14 on Netflix.

#TheFloatingChallenge by GARMENT DISTRICT FOR GOWNS for use by 360 Magazine

The Floating Challenge

NEW YORK FASHION TEAMS UP WITH GARMENT DISTRICT FOR GOWNS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR NYC FAMILIES IN NEED

#THEFLOATINGCHALLENGE CAMPAIGN TO BENEFIT THE FLOATING HOSPITAL, WHO PROVIDE EMERGENCY RELIEF & FREE HEALTHCARE IN NYC

#THEFLOATINGCHALLENGE RUNS FROM MARCH 3RD – MARCH 31ST ON INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, REDDIT & TIKTOK

Premier NYC designers Marc Jacobs, Oscar De La Renta, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Monse, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung and others have teamed up with Garment District For Gowns (GDFG) to help raise funds for NYC families in need.  The designers have donated select pieces from their collection to be raffled as prizes in conjunction with GDFG’s #TheFloatingChallenge campaign.

Launching March 3rd and running through March 31st, #TheFloatingChallenge is a social media campaign to raise awareness and secure donations for The Floating Hospital (TFH). #TheFloatingChallenge asks participants to share a photo of themselves “floating”, tag @TheFloatingChallenge and three friends who “keep them afloat” to pass on the message. Participants are invited to make donations through the Garment District For Gowns website, which will automatically enter them into the raffle for the chance to win the donated designer items. The prizes will be drawn on March 31st with additional prizes awarded to creative submissions to #TheFloatingChallenge social media campaign. Other designers and lifestyle brands taking part include Coach, Loeffler Randall, La Perla, Danielle Frankel, Augustinus Bader, Discount Universe, Standards Manual, Cinnamon Projects, Olivia Wendel, Maison Cruz, Piecework Puzzles and more to be announced.

All proceeds benefit The Floating Hospital, a 155 year old charitable organization that provides free healthcare services to medically underserved communities in New York City, primarily made up of families living in shelters and temporary housing. GDFG will be providing The Floating Hospital with critical PPE supplies and an extensive list of essential items urgently needed by the families they serve, including infant diapers, socks & underwear, childrens clothing, adult professional clothing to be worn during job interviews and more.  Corporate sponsorship has been secured to bolster the donation effort.

More than 15,000 families are temporarily housed in municipal shelters, and even more families and children live “doubled-up” in spaces rented or owned by others, such as friends or family members. Millions of New Yorkers live on the razor’s edge, one personal crisis away from homelessness. 1 in 7 New Yorkers have lost their job in the past 12 months in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic.

ABOUT GARMENT DISTRICT FOR GOWNS

GDFG is a female-founded, NYC-based non-profit organization that provides healthwear and crisis relief to medical facilities and community organizations.  Founded in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic, they have manufactured and distributed medical isolation gowns for over 46 Hospitals and Healthcare facilities, donating more than 11,000 gowns to date–all proudly made in the USA.  Comprising members of the fashion community­­–with experience at designer labels including Oscar De La Renta, The Row, Ralph Lauren and Coach–GDFG is an advocate for domestic manufacturing, having mobilized over 1200 U.S. jobs within sourcing and production. GDFG was in the first round of awardees of the Empire State Development grant.

ABOUT THE FLOATING HOSPITAL

The Floating Hospital is a charitable institution that combines healthcare, social support, and the delivery of necessities to New York City’s neediest families, with a particular focus on women and children. TFH’s unique integrated-care model includes medical, dental, and behavioral health programs and free health-education programming all under one roof. It also offers a free shelter-to-clinic shuttle service from nearly 300 locations throughout the five boroughs. True to its historic “more than healthcare” model, TFH also provides essentials such as food, seasonal clothing, diapers, and hygiene products to families living with homelessness. The Floating Hospital has a deep commitment to meeting the needs of diverse populations; both our staff and the populations we serve is nearly 98% BIPOC.

Founded in 1866, TFH is one of the last family-practice-based charity hospitals in the city, extending high-quality, compassionate care to families regardless of race or ethnicity, immigration or insurance status, or ability to pay. Today, the Hospital maintains a 23% charity rate, which is 10 times higher than other not-for-profit hospitals, which average charity rates of 1-1.5%. Since its founding, the Hospital has served more than 5 million New Yorkers. For more info, visit their website.

Interview With Raul Peñaranda

New York designer Raul Penaranda has been making his dream a reality designing luxury women’s wear with an aesthetic that stands apart with a mix of edge and sophistication. Through this uncompromising style, Raul has dared to be himself and only two years after debuting at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was declared by FORBES magazine as one of the fastest growing fashion entrepreneurs to come out of the small business industry with his 100% USA manufactured ready to wear fashion line for women and Vogue Mexico named Raul “The New King of New York Fashion Week” for his extraordinary craftsmanship, attention to detail and exquisite style.

Raul was born in Cali, Colombia. He grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami, Florida with his family as a young adult. In 2000, Raul relocated to New York City where he was offered a freelance design position at Liz Claiborne, while enrolled at F.I.T and Parson’s. Over the next ten years, some of the industry’s most established fashion houses felt his creative impact such as Oscar de la Renta, DKNY, Zac Posen and Tommy Hilfiger. He has held key positions as Creative Director of Merchandise and Trend Services, Senior Designer and Textile/CAD Designer. Recently during New York Fashion Week, Raul’s burgeoning style culminated in a tremendous showcasing of ready-to wear designs entitled “Opulence”for Fall 2019. Presenting to his largest audience to date, Raul did not disappoint as his models walked the runway in handmade fashions indicative of his daring yet romantic style that has gained him recognition from the CFDA. Still, Raul is only getting started and with ten seasons of inspiring collections there
is only one demand from the designer ‘show the world who you are’.

www.raulpenaranda.com

 

Raul Peñaranda, Fashion Designer

Q & A for 360 Magazine

Q1- What or whom inspired you to start Designing?

A-I design because of the love and respect that i have for my mother and sisters; and that love and respect i want to share it with every women in the world…..and my clothing line is the language in which I able to express it.

Q2-Who are some of the notable men and women you’ve dressed?

A-Vanessa Williams, Lynda Baquero, Gabriela Isler, Kimberly Dos Ramos, Majida Issa, Jennifer Arenas, Dayana Mendoza, Cynthia Bailey, Brande Roderick, Blanca Soto, Maria Celeste, Irene Esser, Liliana Gil, Estefania Fernandez, Adriana Arango, Jill Zarin, Kika rocha, Cindy Taylor, Romina Nabhem, Paulina vega, Veronica Albornoz, Shirley Rumierk

Q3- When our readers are shopping, what are three must haves in their wardrobe?

A-A little black dress

B-A Comfy pair of jeans

c-Statement dresses for daytime and gala

Q4-When Creating for the red carpet, what do you and or clients look for?

A-More than a beautiful pieces, I’m looking for something that is an extension of my client’s personality knowing that less is the ultimate sophistication.

Q5-How does your culture influence your work?

A-Tremendously, from the vibrant colors, to the seductive silhouettes and to the lavish fabrics…..it’s a total package that empower any women and express her distinctive point of view. A perfect balance of two words…Seductive without being trashy and elegant without being old, celebrating all curves and shapes.

Q6-Who are your Fashion icons? Why?

A– Halston for his simple aesthetic that shows to the world that less is more. Oscar De La Renta: For not only the beauty of his designs, but for his humbled personality that inspired me like no other.

Q7-What advice would you give to aspiring Fashion Designers?

A– to not be afraid of being different, to be discipline, to be determined, to be kind, to be humble and to conquer the world