Although many films will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month, one in particular stands out to the fashion pack. Ultrasuede: In Search Of Halston is a vivid portrait of the rise and fall of America’s first celebrity designer, Halston.
First famous for the pillbox hat that Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband’s inauguration in 1961, Halston soon became known for his long dresses and was quickly named the “premier fashion designer of all America” by Newsweek. His designs were worn by many of the era’s famous names, including Bianca Jagger, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor.
Although he became synonymous with 1970s fashion, he was equally well-known for his love of partying, which led to his eventual decline; in 1984, he was fired from his own company and lost the right to design and sell clothes under his own name. As his health began to fail, he retired from the fashion world and went into a self-imposed exile before dying in 1990.
In spite of the tragedy that befell Halston, Ultrasuede: In Search Of Halston is a mostly a celebration of his life and features interviews with many of Halston’s friends, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Liza Minnelli and André Leon Talley. Prepare yourself for a dazzling snapshot of the man who defined the decadence of the 1970s.
The documentary premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 30. If you’re in New York, André Leon Talley, designer Ralph Rucci and Ultrasuede’s director Whitney Sudler-Smith will chat with the audience about the designer.