Showing posts with label Andy Warhol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andy Warhol. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Things that caught my eye this week

Fashion designer Danielle Scutt's stunning new jewellery collection

My favourite is the necklace and belt above which I think are fabulous.  The collection is a collaboration with Freedom at Top Shop which means they shouldn't be expensive.  They go in store on 1st April.  Danielle cites her inspiration for the collection as Frida Kahlo, Peggy Guggenheim and Prevost's novel Manon Lescaut.  The luxury pieces are made of matt gold components, enamel and woven platinum blonde hair, I'm assuming the hair's not real!

Lipstick earrings with platinum blonde hair

Jewellery, make-up and tea all in one pair of earrings - perfect.

Other things I've liked this week

Andy Warhol's portrait of Tina Chow on Little Augury's blog

Which reminded me of this Betsey Johnson Marilyn coat on Ebay
This is bonkers and not exactly a bargain purchase but I think it's great fun!  Available to Buy it now at £117

I also liked these Betsey Johnson red velvet wedges on Ebay
Unfortunately they are too small for me at size 5.  They are currently on at £21.75 with no bids yet.  I love the heart buckles.

Vintage Seventies fringed maxi dress on Ebay
I thought this was great but it went well above what I was prepared to pay and sold for £125!

I think I've found an outfit in my wardrobe for the Mad Men party tonight.  I am taking Kate's advice and saying I'm from Season 4 which goes into the early Sixties.  The Actor was talking about going as Colonel Gadaffi earlier!  I shall definitely take some pictures to blog.  God knows what I'm going to do with my hair.  I bought a set of original Carmen rollers on Ebay last year that someone had knocking about in their loft unopened.  I don't know if my theory is correct but every time I use them, no matter how I do it my hair looks like something straight out of the Seventies!  I tried to do a beehive earlier but it just falls back into my usual style after five minutes.  Hmmmm.  I'm hoping that I'll get away with it as I always dress up anyway.

Have a great Saturday xxx

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The House of Halston

"You're only as good as the people you dress"


I'm a huge fan of Halston.  I only have one of his dresses but I've always loved the fabrics and style of his designs.  They've inspired a lot of my wardrobe choices as have the fabulous women he's dressed.  This post started because I found a picture of him in his house in New York and it just grew as I found more and more pictures.  I'm hoping to have a couple of Halston inspired dresses made by Mrs Jones studio.  I will blog them when I do.

I wish I'd been old enough to go to Studio 54.  I know it would be right up my street!  Mind you, I think I've spent quite enough of my life in clubs already... It still would have been amazing though!

Photography by Irving Penn
Pat Cleveland in Halston

Roy Halston Frowick was born in Iowa in 1932.  Known only by his middle name Halston he became the world's first billion dollar designer and an international fashion superstar.  Sadly, his decadent life finally caught up with him.

Halston began as a milliner and after leaving Indiana University after just one term he moved to New York and started working for Lilly Daché.  Within a year of arriving in New York he'd made friends with several influential fashion editors and publishers and was given the job of head milliner at luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman.  He designed Jackie Kennedy's pill box hat which she wore with a suit by Oleg Cassini to her husband's presidential inauguration in 1961.

Halston, 1964

Halston in his New York apartment, 1968

A hugely talented designer, Halston wanted to make the move into ready-to-wear.  He started his eponymous womenswear label in 1968.  The label was noted for it's luxurious, elegant and minimalist designs in cashmere, satin, featherweight silk and slinky jersey.  A master of detail, cut and finishing, his devotion to simplicity was so pure that he zealously avoided the use of zips and buttons.  Mostly using a colour palette of black, ivory and red he also understood the principle of accents, for which he used fuschia, electric blue and deep burgundy.  The first fabric that became his trademark was called Ultrasuede.  Halston designed a simple shirt dress which was one of the most popular dresses in America in the Seventies and conveniently it was also machine washable.

Halston and models, early Seventies

The spectacular rise of his label went hand in hand with the glamorous and hedonistic party culture of the Seventies and his clothes defined an era known for it's luxuries and excesses.  The label was well known for it's glittering A-list clientele including Lauren Bacall, Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Hutton, Liza Minelli, Candice Bergen, Anjelica Huston, Martha Graham, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Marlborough, Betty Ford, Cornelia Guest, Babe Paley and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Elizabeth Taylor's Birthday party

Anjelica Huston and Halston

Halston's plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame says "The Seventies belonged to Halston."  He put American fashion on the map and was the first "celebrity" designer they had.  His 1973 show at Versailles, the first year American designers were invited to present their work alongside top French fashion houses, was a huge hit.  Few who grew up after the Studio 54 era would know about his reign as the country's first "celebrity" designer, paving the way for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan.

An international legend and the king of New York nightlife, Halston was famous for his hard partying lifestyle and drank and took drugs to excess.  He was one of the most famous regulars of legendary nightclub Studio 54.  What Halston understood best was stardom - how to fabricate it and how to exploit it.  He threw huge parties and famously hosted Bianca Jagger's 30th Birthday party at Studio 54 where she rode in on a white horse dressed in a red Halston dress.  Adored by rich socialites and famous celebrities, Halston was in his element.

Photography by Andy Warhol

"In every corner you'd see somebody you'd read about in the paper.  A friend, beautiful people or mad people. Major, major stars. You had a blend of society that had never happened before. It was like a movie."
Halston on Studio 54

Photography by Ron Galella
Bianca Jagger (wearing Halston in every picture)

Photography by Ron Galella
Bianca Jagger

Photography by Ron Galella
Halston and Bianca

Photography by Ron Galella
Bianca's Birthday

Photography by Ron Galella
Bianca and Halston

Photography by Ron Galella
Halston, Bianca Jagger, Roy Haley Jr, Liza Minnelli and Michael Jackson

Photography by Ron Galella
Halston, Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol with Roy Haley Jr and Liza Minnelli behind

Photography by Ron Galella
Halston and his friend and muse model Pat Cleveland

With Lauren Hutton at Richard Avedon's private view, 1975

Photography by Bob Colacello
André Leon Talley, Studio 54 co-owner Steve Rubell and Andy Warhol, 1978

Halston, Bianca and Mick Jagger at Bianca's 30th Birthday at Studio 54

Halston's boyfriend was a Columbian window dresser called Victor Hugo who later became Andy Warhol's assistant.  As Halston was one of the most internationally recognised figures it was inevitable that he and Warhol would become friends too.

His constant drug use caused him to start wearing dark glasses at all times, even indoors at night.  He held his cigarettes vertically aloft, Champagne or Scotch in the other hand and an entourage of models travelled with him dressed in matching outfits, known as the Halstonettes.

Halston was the first designer to realise the potential of licensing himself.  He started off with selling the exclusive use of his name to Norton Simon, who put the Halston stamp on a wildly successful perfume Halston, with a bottle by jewellery designer Elsa Perretti and to a less successful degree, on menswear, shoes and sheets.

Halston and his perfume

The licensing deal he signed was enormous.  He was a perfectionist and insisted on doing every single design himself.  As Norton Simon sought to attach his name on more and more products, Halston couldn't keep up.  Today "name" designers usually act as delegators and approvers, letting others do the idea generation and then passing judgment on the best, thereby associating their name to it.  In the late Seventies Norton Simon worked out a deal with J.C. Penney to carry the Halston label as a mass-market commodity which alienated the ritzy crowd that saw him as their icon.  His formerly faithful friends and clients defected to other designers.

Unbeknown to everyone at the time were the consequences of drugs and AIDS.  In the mid-Seventies few jet-setters realised that addiction could happen to them, too, and AIDS wasn't even on the horizon. The pressure, partying and addiction produced an inability to delegate to assistants, temper tantrums, erratic designing, and finally the realisation that his brand name was being sold from one corporate giant to another.

His career shattered and his health failing, Halston retired from the fashion world.

In 1988 he was informed that he had AIDS.  He died two years late of AIDS related lung cancer in San Francisco on 26th March 1990.  His last act was to donate his white Rolls Royce to be sold to fund AIDS research.

In Simply Halston, Steven Gaines says "Halston would live the rest of his life in self-imposed exile, an Elba of his own creation.  The man who was only as good as the people he dressed, ended up not dressing anyone."


Halston's Party House

Photography by Harry Benson
Halston in his living room at 101 with his staff behind, 1975

Halston's Old House - How millionaire photographer Gunther Sachs has remade a site of great architectural and social history
 By Paul Hay for the New York Times, 2005

Though nothing like its neighbours, the house on East 63rd is surprisingly easy to miss from the street -deliberately so.  Architect Paul Rudolph, intent on creating a retreat from city life, made sure his clients would live in what one critic referred to at the time as “a world of their own.”  The brown glass façade intentionally recedes from the eye.  A successful disguise, the design nonetheless gives the house - built for real-estate lawyer Alexander Hirsch and his partner, Lewis Turner, in 1967 - a mysterious, almost uninviting quality.

Photography by Nikolas Koenig
The glass facade of 101 East 63rd

Luckily, countless New Yorkers would be undeterred by this.  After Halston bought the house in 1974, it became a sort of hyperelegant confirmed-bachelor pad, and for fifteen years, the boldfaced walked brazenly in.  They even gave the place a nickname, “101,” its street number.

Photography by Nikolas Koenig
The hallway is lined with photographs from the Studio 54 era

Halston held many parties here.  Normally they came for dinner, which, prepared by Halston’s live-in assistant, Mohammed Soumaya, usually consisted of caviar and a baked potato followed by cocaine.  “Often the potato course was passed over,” notes Halston biographer Steven Gaines.  During a supposedly secret “drag party,” Steve Rubell wore one of Liza Minnelli’s dresses for the entire evening.

Photography by Bob Colacello
Sterling St Jacques and Pat Cleveland on the balcony at 101

When you enter the townhouse today, it immediately introduces you to its starstruck heritage.  In the long foyer, current owner Gunter Sachs, the Swiss millionaire and photographer, has hung forty black-and-white Warhol photos of Halston’s crowd and other celebrities.  Jacqueline Onassis stands alongside Bianca Jagger.  A puffed-up Truman Capote hangs not far from a young Dustin Hoffman on his motorbike.  The final image—set slightly apart, as by now the hallway has opened on a dining area - is a portrait of Minnelli.  In a black dress, she lies on a concrete platform at the bottom of a staircase.  Turning to the left, you see that it’s the same staircase in the living room.  Naturally, Liza was here before you.

Photography by Andy Warhol
Liza Minnelli wearing Halston

Photography by Tony Palmieri
Halston and Liza Minnelli at a party he gave for her at 101 in 1975

The house no longer bears Rudolph’s “haute minimalist” stamp, also embraced by Halston.  After the designer moved in, he lured back the architect to make it more comfortable.  There was only electric heating, and Halston inquired of Rudolph’s office whether anything could be done about his electricity bills, then over $3,000 a month. “Is this normal?” he asked.  The carpeting was ubiquitous, and it was grey.  As was the upholstery.  And not just any grey. “Halston would look at hundreds of samples to make sure we got the shade right,” recalls Donald Luckenbill, who worked as project architect for Rudolph.

Sachs has pared the interior down but also splashed it with colour - like his own lush photographs.  The artist, who in 1966 cemented his credentials as a member of the European jet set by marrying Brigitte Bardot (they divorced in 1969), maintains multiple residences.  In fact, he’s owned twenty seven to date. “I come here two or three times a year,” he says.  “I wish it was more.”  Working with designer Lars Bolander, Sachs replaced the grey carpeting with white oak floors.

But the bones stay the same.  And when he is in residence, Sachs finds himself continually marvelling at “the height of the salon.”  Who wouldn’t be taken in by the three-story-high living room?  It embodies the bold architectural strategy Rudolph was pursuing at the time. A generation younger than modernism’s originators, he was intent on advancing their ideas about opening up interiors to the outside and breaking down barriers of social and private space.

Photography by Nikolas Koenig

A huge skylight (not shown caps the three storey high living room.  Current owner Gunther Sachs has put "Le Cri", his series of photographs of Claudia Schiffer's lips by the staircase.  The door on the right on the mezzanine leads to the front door. The Lucite dining table designed by Rudolph is gone, replaced by one in white oak.

Photography by Nikolas Koenig
Rudolph built a greenhouse where Halston planted Bamboo and a mirror on the back wall.  The catwalk on  the right leads to a guest bedroom.

Photography by Nikolas Koenig
A plexiglass balcony on one of the bathrooms juts out into the greenhouse

Photography by Nikolas Koenig
The master bedroom which faces the street features paintings by Peter Halley

The plans, which were displayed prominently in the New York Times in 1967, show how the house pinwheels around the central atrium - to which each floor has dramatic entry and vantage points: a catwalk to a third-floor guest bedroom, a mezzanine that floats over the dining area.  Compared with the vast salon, the other rooms feel sheltered, some with ceilings as low as seven feet.  But Rudolph’s open design allows light to flow throughout making it feel spacious everywhere.

As was his wont, the architect all but dared his clients to live on the edge of his architecture.  He refused to put a railing on the catwalk, believing it would make the living room a less integral space.  Instead, he called simply for a leather-covered rope.  Lewis Turner suffered from vertigo and ventured across to the guest quarters only ten times in the seven years he and Hirsch lived in the house.  Sachs had glass panels installed on it and the mezzanine, one of his few interventions.

The stairs Liza had her pictures taken on have been left open, an inopportune gesture, perhaps, in a house that in its Halston years was home to so many who couldn’t be bothered to eat their potatoes - but a lovely one all the same.  As Sachs says, “The whole concept” behind 101 was - and remains - “enormously avant-garde.”

Photography by Harry Benson
Halston, 1975


Further reading and viewing

To buy Simply Halston on Amazon CLICK HERE

The Film - Ultrasuede 'In Search of Halston' is out in the UK soon


Halston SS11 Presentation designed by Marios Schwab


Photography by Bob Colacello


Thursday, 9 September 2010

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon - Part forty five

Photography by Alfred Eisenstaedt

"Glamour is what makes a man ask for your telephone number.
But also what makes women ask for the name of your dressmaker"

Lilly Dache

"I don't mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual.  Beauty and feminity are ageless and can't be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won't like this, cannot be manufactured"

Marilyn Monroe

"Like charity, I believe that glamour should begin at home"

Loretta Young

"Glamour is what I sell, it's my stock in trade"

Marlene Dietrich

"Any girl can be glamorous.
All you have to do is stand still and look stupid"

Hedy Lamarr

"It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated
as a great big ring on Liz Taylor's finger!"

Andy Warhol

"If you're going to be a star, you have to look like a star.
I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star.
If you want to see the girl next door, go next door"

Joan Crawford

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon is a weekly series to read more click here