beauty icon, the halstonettes

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Photo: Irving Penn / Condé Nast Archive

The Halstonettes

“You’re only as good as the people you dress,” Halston once said, and no one took that advice to heart more than the iconic seventies designer himself. Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Jackie Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor were all fans of his sleek gowns and breezy caftans, often appearing arm in arm with the man responsible for their outfits. His original models—Karen Bjornson, Pat Cleveland, and Anjelica Huston among them—were so loyal that André Leon Talley devised a moniker for them, the Halstonettes, creating an official fan club for the designer born Roy Halston Frowick in Des Moines.

The languid jet-set glamour of Halston’s designs—his clothes were perfect for poolside lounging or dancing at Studio 54—has long since become part of the fashion lexicon, and the latest revival is imminent. Marc Jacobs followed the clingy jersey shirtdresses and slim jumpsuits he showed for Fall with feather-light tunics for Resort; Bob Colacello’s new book of late-seventies/early-eighties snapshots, Out, is set to reintroduce many of the era’s key players to a new generation of club kids; and, last but not least, of course, there is the Weinstein Company’s recent acquisition of the Halston label itself. They may not allow guests to enter on white horses at The Box, but the designer’s brand of seventies glam lives on.
—Alison Baenen

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Photo: Paul Schutzer / Stringer / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Jackie Kennedy, with her husband on Inauguration Day, January 20, 1961, wears a hat designed for her by Halston.

Photo: Jack Robinson / Condé Nast Archive / Corbis

Model Marisa Berenson, photographed circa 1971, holds a hat by Halston.

Photo: Irving Penn / Condé Nast Archive

Pat Cleveland, photographed by Irving Penn, models a jersey dress by Halston, circa 1972.

Photo: Berry Berenson / Fairchild Archives

Halston fits one of his signature dresses on Anjelica Huston, 1972.

Photo: Phil Roach / Globe Photos

Elizabeth Taylor, at the 1976 Academy Awards, in a gown designed by Halston.

Photo: Robin Platzer / Twin Images / Getty Images

Bianca Jagger enters Studio 54 for her birthday party, May 1977.Bianca Jagger enters Studio 54 for her birthday party, May 1977.

Photo: Getty Images

Models Karen Bjornson and Pat Cleveland backstage with Halston, January 1978.

Photo: Ron Galella / WireImage

Bianca Jagger, with Halston, in a dress by the designer, July 1980.

Photo: Adam Scull / Bettmann / Corbis

Halston escorts Liza Minnelli to a reception at Lincoln Center, February 1983.

Photo: Peter Turnley / Corbis

Halston joins Martha Graham, center, for a curtain call with her dancers in costumes he designed, circa 1984.