Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
In the year’s most spectacular fashion documentary, writer-director Frederic Tcheng (Dior and I, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel) applies his discriminating enthusiast’s eye to the rise and fall of American fashion legend Roy Halston Frowick. Halston, who as a milliner at Bergdorf Goodman gave Jackie Kennedy her signature pillbox hat, eschewed the countercultural look of the 1960s to establish a simpler, more dashing look that made New York the epicentre of women’s fashion into the 1980s.
His brand expansion into perfumes, then – arguably fatally – into a $1 billion licensing deal with J.C. Penney, was dizzying. Tcheng frames Halston’s fall from grace as both personal tragedy and as a tale of business malfeasance to be investigated. Brimming with clips, music and testimony from those close to the action, Halston doubles as irresistible evocation of the glam ethos he was instrumental in shaping, and a classic tale of creative brilliance harnessed to a standstill by corporate ambition. — BG
“It’s mildly astonishing that we’ve had to wait until now for a comprehensive assessment of the style revolution of Roy Halston Frowick – his stratospheric ascent to become a business empire and the first bona fide American celebrity designer, his rejection by the fashion establishment after a misjudged venture, his sad decline and his indelible legacy. Frederic Tcheng delivers all that in the succinctly titled Halston, a roller coaster of fabulousness and folly.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter