Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Jess Cartner-Morley writes:
Halston's original success was in being at the forefront of a defining moment in style. In the early 1970s, his clean, unadulterated lines, free of unnecessary seaming and embellishment, cut a glamorous swath through a world growing bored with patchwork, beading and tiered skirts. That kind of fashion moment is impossible to reproduce, but what Zanini, Weinstein et al are hoping to recapture is the spirit the brand came to personify: cool, urban, glamorous and decadent.
Zanini's new Halston may come as a surprise to those who associate Studio 54 with disco balls and Lurex. Eveningwear was simple and sculptural, in floorlength draped jersey with bare shoulders or a low cowl neck; high-waisted trousers and crepe-de-chine blouses for day were demure and elegant. Minnelli proclaimed it "wonderful, sensual, and chic".
Just one day after the show, two of the outfits - including a teal blue shirt dress which brings back to life the spirit of Halston's 1972 classic Ultrasuede shirt dress - are available to buy today on Net a porter a full six months from the time any of the other outfits in the show, or indeed any of the other outfits at New York fashion week, will go on sale.
In the world of designer fashion, which still operates on a six-month time-lag between catwalk and store, this is a groundbreaking move. It is the first attempt by a designer label to combat a serious problem faced by the designer clothing industry: high street labels have recently become able to sell cheaper versions of the trends launched on designer catwalks during the six-month gap between the catwalk show and the designer collection going on sale. In effect, a designer can start a trend, only to find that by the time the real thing hits stores, the high street has milked the look for all it is worth.