Orchids, Coke...But No DiscoBall
Updated: Jun 12
Hello! I’m Halston and I’m pleased to announce a new line of fashion…this new line of fashion was patched together in a Covid era sweatshop by none other than Ewan McGregor, the Halston lookalike. Halston...a legend whose success can be traced from the redefining of American womenswear in the 70s, swathed his women in a feeling. McGregor succeeds in wrapping us up in something more JC Penney.
Amidst the cigarette smoke of a London Covid era house party a paralyzing question penetrated the room—who’s Halston? The millennials in the room gasped for air, as the Gen Zeders looked at each other with animated confusion…
The pyrotechnic life of Roy Halston Frowick was relit last month thanks to the release of a Netflix series, detailing the rise and fall of Halston in five tedious installments. From the opening scene a clear foundation is set, and the palate tickled, when we saw a little boy with a piercing twinkle in his eye make a hat for his abused mother.
The scenery quickly transitioned to a fully grown Halston played by McGregor, whose infamous hat is worn by Jackie Kennedy for the inauguration ceremony of John F. Kennedy.
The illustrious Halston started his career as a milliner in Chicago and moved to NYC before opening his legendary store on Madison Avenue in 1968. His name quickly became interwoven with the celebrity culture of the day…Bianca Jagger, Liza Minelli, and Andy Warhol, were but a few noteworthy pals.
Famous for his glamour on and off the runway, Halston defined what was sexy in the 70s. His empire reigned high from a glass tower overlooking the city but was eventually jeopardized by men in suits that precipitated the financial stress that led to his inevitable demise.
It is evident early on that McGregor has been overwhelmed with the Herculean task of portraying a man with considerable depth. The accent is forced, the body language is staged... and the performance makes us wonder if this drag queen really can lip sync?
McGregor lets us continue the urgent debate as to whether straight actors should be allowed to inhabit the lives of the less straight on screen. The insecurity that is tackled is glaringly obvious but does not allow us to fully appreciate the glamour synonymous with Halston’s name.
Despite the surface performance, and general disregard for the triumphs of Halston’s career...the series dives straight into Halston's addiction and substance abuse problems, painting a sordid picture that is effortlessly framed by a spinelessly predictable Venezuelan escort (Gian Franco Rodriguez).
Naturally the frame includes a harness...
Despite the evident disrespect, there are a few brief moments in the later part of the series when we finally see McGregor’s orchids.
A few delectable scenes include a conflict in the Hamptons emanating from a comment from Elsa Peletti (Rebecca Dyan) …a snide remark about an airplane delivered baked potato registers as sour, and quickly escalates into full blown verbal warfare.
In an earlier episode, an East Coast Mameha (Eleanor Lambert) walks Sayuri (Halston) through an autumnal Central Park detailing how to dazzle potential French Danna at The Battle of Versailles. A monologue that is complimented by the no-nonsense attitude that only a Stars Hollow matriarch can employ…
God Save Emily Gilmore!
The best scene is arguably towards the end when a beleaguered Halston who has recently lost the rights to his name, rests his head in a chauffeur driven car overlooking a glittering sunset with the Cocteau Twins providing musical solace.
This scene comes in second to when we witness the sting of humiliation that is evident when the protagonist realizes that his loft party is being thrown by none other than Calvin Klein after exiting a 5th avenue elevator.
Although the character development is there, the performance seems to be void of any punctuated climax and leaves us wondering if a bouncer would really care to remember Ewan McGregor’s name on a NYC guestlist.
In the age of social restrictions, McGregor reminds us that genius is often misunderstood… lonely, and sometimes even miscast.
For his spring/summer collection McGregor gives us suitcases, sunglasses, knitwear, and belts...
but no Halston.