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Halston: The true story behind Netflix series starring Ewan McGregor

Series follows the rise of American fashion designer in the Seventies

Annabel Nugent@annabelnugent
Wednesday 12 May 2021 09:05
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Halston trailer

Netflix will be releasing its latest series Halston on Friday (15 May). 

The five-part miniseries stars Ewan McGregor in the titular role, with Rory Culkin, Bill Pullman and Kelly Bishop filling out the rest of its core cast.

American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy serves as an executive producer on the show, which chronicles the rising profile of American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick – known mononymously as Halston.

The Iowa-born designer came to the forefront of fashion throughout the Seventies. His rise, however, was fraught with the usual trappings of fame.

Halston is best known for his minimalist and streamlined designs. He rose to prominence after creating the iconic pillbox hat Jackie Kennedy wore to her husband John F Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.

Throughout his career, Halston was frequently photographed at the famous Studio 54 nightclub with friends including Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol.

According to Britannica, the designer’s career was severely damaged after he decided to design an affordable clothing line for the mass retailer JC Penney.

Obit Elsa Peretti

In 1984, he was fired from his fashion house and was unsuccessful in his subsequent attempt to buy back his company.

Halston moved to San Francisco in 1990. He died from AIDS-related complications aged 57.

McGregor recently defended his casting as the gay designer, amid wider criticism of straight actors playing LGBTQ+ characters.

The 50-year-old told The Hollywood Reporter: “I hear the discussion and respect both sides of it, I really do.” 

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The Scottish star then explained that he decided to take the role in Halston because sexuality wasn’t the main focus of the show.

Ewan McGregor in Halston

“If it had been a story about Halston’s sexuality more, then maybe it’s right that gay actors should play that role,” he said.

“But in this case – and I don’t want to sound like I’m worming out of this, because it’s something I did think a lot about – I suppose ultimately I felt like it was just one part of who he was.”

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