Halston (American, Des Moines, Iowa 1932–1990 San Francisco, California)
Length at CB: 59 1/2 in. (151.1 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Trudy Elliott, 1985
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 961
Beginning his career as a milliner, Halston later crossed over to ready-to-wear, promoting minimal design. His loyal clientele of the rich and famous chose to display his creations in trendy locals such as New York's Studio 54. In 1971, he began incorporating Ultrasuede into his work, which was an instant success, becoming one of his signature fabrics. Halston's quick rise to fame ended abruptly when he agreed to design an inexpensive line for J.C. Penney. While his career ended in the eighties, his innovations continue to be seen in fashion today, and have been resurrected with the Halston brand of the twenty-first century.
This sequined silk evening dress is characteristic of Halston's designs. The single shoulder, creating an asymmetrical neckline, was a trademark of the designer, as well as the scalloped print used beneath the iridescent sequins. An elegant, yet minimal dress for evening, it is enhanced by the ombré effect of the sequins, darkening as they reach the bottom of the skirt, creating a puddle of deep blue. Undoubtedly, the dress evokes a mermaid look as it moves with the body and the sequins shimmer as they catch the light.