Halston's Family Called Ryan Murphy's Netflix Series "Inaccurate"

Shannon Raphael - Author

May 14 2021, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

Source: Netflix

The latest show to debut from Ryan Murphy's Netflix deal is Halston, which differs from his past hits, Hollywood, The Politicians, and Ratched because it's based on a real figure.

The limited series stars Ewan McGregor as Roy "Halston" Frowick, a fashion designer who originally rose to fame in the '60s after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore one of his pillbox hats to her husband's presidential inauguration. 

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The show mainly takes place in the '70s and the '80s, after Halston has transitioned from creating hats to setting clothing trends. It chronicles moments from both the height of his fashion empire, to his eventual professional decline.

It follows him through his drug use, his various romances, his indulgent spending, and his friendships with top stars like Liza Minnelli (played by Krista Rodriguez) and Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan).

Halston is based on Steven Gaines' 1991 novel, Simply Halston, but how much of the series is true?

Source: Netflix
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'Halston' on Netflix tells the true story of the designer's fashion empire.

In the opening of the five-part biopic, a few scenes from Halston's childhood in the Midwest are shown. He did begin creating hats as a child for his female family members, but it's unclear if his father was physically abusive (as the series depicts).

Halston created the now-iconic pillbox hat for Jackie Kennedy Onassis in 1961, while he was the head milliner for Bergdorf Goodman. 

After his signature pillbox hats went out of style, Halston pivoted to create women's clothing. His utilization of ultrasuede in the '70s proved to be a wildly successful, and he continued to make functional fashion. 

Many of the main characters featured in the Netflix series are real people who had known friendships with the designer. 

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In addition to Halston, Elsa, and Liza, the show puts a spotlight on director Joel Schumacher (Rory Culkin), and Halston's on-and-off boyfriend, Victor Hugo (Gian Franco Rodriguez).

Several of the central events shown in Halston also happened as well. Halston did present eight pieces at the Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in 1973. The charity event was held at the Palace of Versailles, and it pitted five American designers against five French creators. 

Source: Netflix
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The other designers included notable names like Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hubert de Givenchy. Andy Warhol, Princess Grace of Monaco, Liza Minnelli, and Joséphine Baker were a few of the star attendees.  

Halston was known to have an extravagant lifestyle, and for his frequent presence at the Studio 54 club in New York City. The Halston series showcased his decline, and his then-controversial decision to strike a deal with JCPenney in the '80s.

He was prevented from creating designs for the Halston Enterprises in 1984, and he died from Kaposi's sarcoma in 1990. 

Though much of the plot of Halston is inspired by real people and events, the late designer's family did not approve of the series.

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Source: Netflix

The designer's family referred to 'Halston' as "inaccurate."

The late designer's niece, Lesley Frowick, released a statement to The Associate Press on May 10 about Halston. The CEO of the Halston Archives referred to the Netflix series as an "inaccurate, fictionalized account" of her uncle's life. 

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Source: Getty

Halston (front) is pictured along with several models who are wearing his clothes in the '70s.

"The HALSTON Archives and Family were not consulted on the upcoming Netflix series involving an inaccurate, fictionalized account of famed fashion designer, Halston," part of the statement read. "The HALSTON Archives remains the only definitive and comprehensive source on the man and his legacy as the personally appointed custodian of his private papers and effects."

Lesley did not identify any specific storylines or moments from the show that were dramatized. 

Halston is available to stream on Netflix now.

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