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Halston (Roy Halston Frowick) (1932-1990)  
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However, his partnership with Norton Simon Industries did not bring the riches Halston had hoped it would. Refusing to allow his name to be put on anything he did not design himself, he found it difficult to meet the level of productivity expected of him. His signature was seen on everything from spectacles to the uniforms worn by Avis car rental employees, but he increasingly felt under pressure to produce even more.

In 1982 NSI asked Halston to design a range for the downscale J.C. Penney department stores. He agreed, but the decision had unanticipated, severely negative consequences. Bergdorf's dropped his collections and formerly faithful friends and clients defected to other designers. Halston's relationships with his bosses and colleagues deteriorated until finally he was locked out of his offices after throwing a tantrum.

His career shattered and his health failing, Halston retired from the fashion world. In Simply Halston, Steven Gaines notes that "Halston would live the rest of his life in self-imposed exile, an Elba of his own creation. The man who was only as good as the people he dressed ended up not dressing anyone."

Halston was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. He died of AIDS-related lung cancer in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1990.

Since his death the House of Halston has hired a number of creative directors. Under the direction of Randolph Duke the House became well known once more for evening wear. More recently, under the leadership of Craig Natiello, the House returned to the classic Halston lines (including the Ultrasuede shirtdress) and enjoyed a revival of its reputation. The current designer at the House of Halston is Bradley Bayou, who is known for his extravagant gowns.

Shaun Cole

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Chocano, Carina. "Fashion Victim: The Rise and Demise of Halston, America's Superstar Designer."

Gaines, Steven. Simply Halston: The Untold Story. New York: Putnam, 1991.

Gross, Elaine, and Fred Rottman. Halston: An American Original, London: Harper Collins, 1999.

Hume, Marion. "American Cool." The Independent on Sunday (September 26, 1993): 54-57.

Mears, Patricia, and Steve Bluttal. Halston. London: Phaidon, 2001.


    Citation Information
    Author: Cole, Shaun  
    Entry Title: Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated November 23, 2004  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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