Halston: Line and Legacy celebrates the innovative Coty Award-winning 20th century fashion legend and former IU student, Roy Halston Frowick. One of the most influential American designers of the 20th century, Halston’s unique spare aesthetic and regard for the female form resulted in modern clothing that was sensual, comfortable, and elegant. Known for his association with artists and celebrities such as Andy Warhol and Liza Minnelli as well as the vibrant Studio 54 disco scene, Halston became synonymous with 1970s glamour.
The first designer to license himself as a brand, Halston signed a multi-million dollar deal with Norton-Simon in 1973 and entered a lucrative partnership with JC Penney in the early 1980s, foretelling today’s high-fashion mass-market collaborations. That partnership, however, deeply displeased his higher-end retailers and led to the loss of rights to design under his own name. Although his business dealings ended badly, Halston’s timeless goddess gowns and shirtdresses have inspired numerous fashion revivals. His minimally constructed yet sophisticated designs in cashmere, 3-ply silk jersey, and Ultrasuede are a distinctly American style and have had a lasting influence on women’s fashion. Objects in this exhibition include sequined and beaded chiffons suggestive of the glittery disco era, cozy comfortable cashmere sweater dresses, and columnar ensembles evocative of Greco-Roman drapery.
Halston: Line and Legacy will be accompanied by special programming including a lecture by Halston’s niece Lesley Frowick, author of Halston: Inventing American Fashion, Friday, September 11, 5:00 – 6:00 pm, with a reception and book signing to follow. Other free public programs, including the modeling of Halston-inspired student designs, will be offered in conjunction with this exhibit.
Overseen by the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, the Sage Collection at Indiana University preserves over 24,000 items of clothing and related artifacts for exhibition, preservation, and research. This exhibition and related events are made possible by the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, and the Endowment by Mr. Bill Blass to Friends of the Sage Collection. For further information about the Sage Collection, call (812) 855-4627 or visit http://www.indiana.edu/~sagecoll/.