As I was watching Halston, and Jose his friend, and Liza and Elsa, the women who adored him, and Victor who was his lover, and the snobbish world he was part of, I was trying to figure out why I find it so compelling.
New York was far away from my growing up in Mexico. New York was far, far away from the place and time I was living my life. While Halston was smelling success I was struggling. While he was successful and full of himself —a diva, many would say, he was struggling too, having to deal with painful childhood memories that he carried on, perhaps unresolved, throughout his adult life. No success, fame or money helped Halston heal his pain and sorrows, according to what the series tell us.
-“And what does the smell of Daffodils make you feel?”, asked the perfume-maker.
-“Innocence, comfort,” Halston said, while thinking about his mother.
When the perfume maker gave Halston something that smelled like leather and asked him how that made him feel, he said: closeness, acceptance.
And that night Halston came back home and broke down.
A few days later, he came back to the lab where he was working with the perfume-maker-lady, and brought a flower, tobacco, and an intimate piece of cloth from his lover, to continue their work to find the aromas for a perfume who would hold his name: Halston.
And that was just one of many pieces of his full-of-himself, greater-than-life life packed by Netflix on a four-episode season.
What Netflix has done with “Halston,” is to allow to experience moments on the life of an iconic man, but also a peek on the life of those fortunate to be creative, wealthy and beautiful, in a New York City who at the time was growing up extremely beautiful, poetic and daring.
Was Halston extremely arrogant and egotistic? yes. He was extravagant too. But the talent he had is something the world will always admire, and the life he experienced for more than a decade is something many would love to live.
Director and Netflix have done a great job bringing back Halston and showing to the world. By depicting his life they also remind us how ephemera life is, and how all of us, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, must have a human experience. And that involves childhood memories, losses and gains, pain, happiness, and hopefully, lessons learned.
Netflix’s Halston is one of those films that leave you in awe and make you think. Ewan McGregor deserves an Oscar. Released on May 14, 2021, Halston quickly arose to the top 10.
-Lupita Franco Peimbert
The series is Executive Produced by Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Daniel Minahan, Ewan McGregor, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of Killer Films, Eric Kovtun and Sharr White. Minahan also serves as the series director.