Our appetite for rise-and-fall narratives is absolutely limitless, especially when they involve fabulous costumes, astronomical quantities of drugs and Liza Minnelli.
Netflix’s 1970s biopic “Halston” could not deviate less from that script. The show is a rags-to-riches-to-rags story, except the proverbial rags were actually made of ultrasuede, the defining synthetic fiber of discotheque mayhem. Directed by HBO workhorse Daniel Minahan and adapted from Stephen Gaines’ biography “Simply Halston,” the series is a portrait of the brilliant, vicious man who made aspirational fashion possible for generations of American women. Unfulfilled as a hatmaker for Jackie Kennedy, he rose through department store Bergdorf Goodman to become the equal of heavyweights like Yves Saint Laurent, fulfilling postwar America’s thirst for Europhilic culture by day and getting high at Studio 54 by night, until he died in San Francisco of complications from AIDS.