Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Halston and Ultrasuede: An American Love Story. Part Four. 1970s. A Single Owner Collection.

Americans have always been known as a pioneering, self sufficient, practical sort of people.  And Roy Halston Frowick born in the American midwest pioneered a new type of wardrobe for the Amercian woman.  One of simplicity and luxuriousness, of practicality and of glamour.  

Halston first became intrigued by the fabric ultrasuede when he saw the Japanese designer Issey Miyake wearing a jacket he had made of it.

"I flipped" Halston told the New York Times in 1973.  "The material was so soft, so luxurious yet so utilitarian."

I had a little debate with myself about including some ultrasuede pieces in this collection because it has long fallen out of favor but for one thing, it is impossible to have a really great collection of Halston without the ultrasuede.   His name is synonymous with the fabric.  It was practically a uniform for so many women in the 1970s.  It was soft, light, machine washable and came in a wide range of colors: turquoise, violet, coral, fawn, deep navy...  

"I remember being in Greece and putting one of the little ultrasuede dresses over my bathing suit and then after a swim going for lunch with it wet.  It dried beautifully and was ready for travel the next day." recalled Jennifer Jones Simon.

Doesn't that sound so chic and glamorous?!  

So when I started revisiting these ultrasuede pieces, I started seeing something else: they look really modern, really fresh right now in this period of increasing minimalism.   How amazing is this photograph of Marisa Berenson in a Halston ultrasuede jacket, an Elsa Peretti belt and the white pants?!    I would love to put the entire outfit on today.

This is one of my favorites:

Don't you think it would look amazing with a pair of suede Dries van Noten boots with a python heel? Or in early spring with a Celine sandal?

We also photographed it looking very Halston:

Worn with one of Halston's delicious cashmere sweaters tied over the shoulders and an ultrasuede hat.

Halston's ultrasuede hat made its debut on the model Karen Bjornson on the cover of Newsweek in 1972.

I was so excited when I was shown the hat in pristine condition!

This is another great and iconic Halston look:

and we recreated this photo with a deep navy ultrasuede shirtdress, a red leather Elsa Peretti belt and tossed a red cashmere sweater over the shoulders:

To see more or to shop our 1970s Halston collection, click here.

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