Colors of Halston’s 1978 Runway Show

Like Coco Chanel, Halston began his career as a milliner.  His international fame began when he designed the “Pillbox” hat worn by Jackie Kennedy to the Presidential Inauguration.  From then on Halston became the First International Fashion Superstar.

“At a time when fashion shows were still stiff and formal affairs in which models walked down runways holding numbered placards in silence, Halston had instructed his models to strut down the runway to music, holding up copies of “Valley of the Dolls.” The clothes they wore — casual, free, functional and strangely pajama-like — seemed to instantly embody the feminist and egalitarian spirit of the era.”  (Excerpt from:

One of Halston’s early Runway Shows in 1978:

Diana Vreeland attended wearing a black cashmere t-shirt, and slacks with a red cashmere scarf tied around her waist and another tied around her neck:  All Halston.

This outfit was accessorized with her own jewelry designs including the “Ivory Tooth” and “Ivory Cuff”.  All was topped off with a magnificent sable coat.

The air had the dryness of black paper taffeta.

The eighteen foot ceiling was paved with mirrors.  Deep oxblood carpets reflected from the floor.

A profusion of potted Calla Lilies adorned Parsons tables and guests sat on chrome folding chairs.

Halston’s color palette included:  purple, lilac, lemon, red, navy, cobalt blue, green, black, grey, and white.

"Halston 1978 Palette"

“Simply Halston” by Steven Gaines (Putnam, 1991)

The fashion world is not nearly as malicious and degenerate–i.e., interesting–as it once was. Today’s designers, ever conscious of the bottom line, are indeed disappointingly sensible and well behaved. In “Simply Halston,” Steven Gaines reminds us of the days when hubris-riddled designers went on cocaine-fueled rampages. “In 1978, Dionysus had hired a press-agent and New York was headlong into an era of staggering permissiveness.” After you read this book, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will seem like a trip to the Mormon Tabernacle.  (Excerpt from: “The Wall Street Journal” – Saturday, February 20th, 2010.)

Copyright © Nicole Rigets

Leave a Reply