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12.3.09

Halston Then and Now

As I have my daily cry over not being able to buy any of the Spring Summer Halston collection that seems to now be arriving daily over at Net-A-Porter
(Can someone please fix this damn economy quick! I am already over being frugal - thank you very much anyway)
I do still continue with my utter obsession with collecting originals though - I would not eat for a week to snag a great vintage piece. And you might just see why I have this obsession after you see today's then and now.

This is the gown that Kathryn List wore in 1979 to her husband's inauguration as Governor of Nevada. Ms. List was obviously a woman of profoundly good taste. It was said that she chose it based on the colors of Nevada - blue and silver - and since her hair was silver.......


Gorgeous isn't it?

Now here is the Spring Summer version from the newly relaunched Halston label


Remarkably familiar is it not?

This digging from the archives to produce pieces reminiscent of the originals prompted somewhat scathing reviews at the time:

Despite the mixed reviews Marco Zanini received at Halston last season—and his subsequent departure—all reports indicate that the collection he designed is doing quite well at retail. Women, it seems, were hungering for the twenty-first-century spin he put on Halston's sexy brand of simplicity. So it was rather disappointing to see the straight-from-the-archives reproductions that the nameless Halston design team trotted out for a splashy presentation at the Museum of Modern Art......Style.com

Tamara Mellon shot back to Vogue this comment when asked about the archival digging:
“I think we're really paying tribute to Halston but bringing it back in a modern way,"

Tamara in the new version of the dress

I agree and I bet she had a hand in what ended up on the runway and now in the shops. After all Tamara herself is a big vintage Halston collector. I sometimes wonder if she bought the label because she loved the originals so much. If I had a few extra million lying around I would have done the same thing. Vintage Halstons are hard to find - can you imagine being able to make them at will? As one obsessed girl to another, Tamara I can see exactly where you are going here.

Tamara in vintage Halston

I am more disappointed in the price point then in the almost literal lifting of the designs.
I think there is a reason why women like me go gah gah over certain designers - The Ossie's, The Biba's, Puccis and Halstons. There is a certain aesthetic associated with these brands and whether you are looking to the old or the new, that aesthetic is what you are looking for.

I do not want to buy a Halston that does not look like - well Halston.

I have no problem whatsoever with buying a remake of the original is it works as well or better then the original. What happens more often that not is that these houses that are relaunched try to completely re-invent the wheel. But they lack the balls to really go for it so the results are sad, pathetic attempts at second hand geniousness

If you are going to re-invent the wheel that reinvent it.
If you are going to give your own spin then spin it baby.
Do it big, go large, shoot for the moon.

Otherwise give me fabulous clothes in the original aesthetic, just like Halston has done, or I will keep buying the vintage pieces, and thankfully (for my little vintage shop) so will a ton of other women out there.

If Halston doesn't make it this time around it will not be because they did not manage to give us a crop of gorgeous dresses
because they did
no it will be because of the price points.

The dress in this post?
$4,895 US

Roy Halston Frowick would be rolling in his grave.
If only because he is not sharing the profits.

Roy Halston & Bianca Jagger

1 comment:

Nina (femme rationale) said...

that halston dress is GORGEOUS. and i really wish tamara would leave her face alone. she was such a pretty girl before she fucked w/it.

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