Halston (American, Des Moines, Iowa 1932–1990 San Francisco, California)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Carol Siris Roaman, 1983
Not on view
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 evening caftan is iconic for the period, incorporating many of Halston's design characteristics. The dress is actually one rectangular piece, which simply ties at the neck. Halston had an ability to work with one piece of fabric and it, create flattering and rather complex silhouette. The asymmetrical tie-dye design adds interest to this minimal piece and would be eye-catching when the wearer was in movement.