Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
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A fascinating portrait of the rise and fall of America's first celebrity designer: Halston, the man who was synonymous with fashion in the 1970s, and became the emperor of New York City nightlife. Interviews with friends and witnesses (including Liza Minnelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley, Anjelica Huston, Bob Colacello, and Billy Joel, among others) round out this glittering evocation of the man who defined the most beautiful and decadent era of recent memory.
- An Interview with Director Whitney Sudler-Smith and Producer Adam Bardach, presented by American Express
- Deleted Scene: GQ Interview
Must-see film --Fashion Week Daily
This film has a grander trajectory than just about any other fashion doc. --Entertainment Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
Smith interviews Liza Minelli and tells her she was Halston's only friend at the time he died; she corrects him, and says that Liz Taylor, among others was there. She says she gave Halston his memorial service; Smith asks her what she sang; Liza replies that she didn't sing because the event was about Halston, not her. Couldn't Smith have looked up any newspaper clippings of the event?
He finds Halston's archives in boxes, unpacked at a Bible university in Nashville. Georgette Mosbacher, the head of Halston/Borghese, says her mother lives in Nashville, which is why I'm assuming the archives went there; she can deduct the cost of seeing her mother as a business expense to 'check on the archives'. Smith remarks that he has seen the archives, but doesn't ask why nothing has been done with them. No displays, the boxes were basically thrown in a room. Mosbacher obviously doesn't know or care what is being done to preserve the archives, and Smith isn't interested in enlightening her. Why?
Smith has lunch with Andre Leon Talley, and, again, hasn't done his research. He asks ALT who else he should interview! He also interrupts ALT, but is put in his place. Also, the racist anthem 'Dixie' is Smith's ring tone, and he has the Confederate flag on his license plate. I'm sure it's just a Southern Pride thing, right?
I had to turn off the movie when Smith wears aviator sunglasses, inside, to interview Ralph Rucci.
Please let someone else make a documentary of quality about Halston! This one surely cannot be the last word.
The film is basically a collection of unorganized and poorly researched interviews. Even some of the people he interviews point this out to him! Whitney Sudler-Smith sits there staring in a bewildered stupor as he interviews people occasionally asking random superficial questions expecting the interviewee to magically tell him everything he wants to know. He seems awkward and influenced by whatever people say with no resolute position on Halston or the aim of the film. The best part of this film is that we are taken into Halston's 63st home in NYC for a small segment.
It is greatly unfortunate that an admirable subject was presented in such a lackadaisical manner in which it produced a campy film that could have been covered deeply with concrete questions and substance and less tangential reportage.
However apart from these criticisms the value of the film is that it outlines Roy Halston's contributions to the global perspective of American fashion. Providing the viewer at least with an incredulous, yet still maintaining a archaic vision of fashion in the 70's and Halston's substantial role in producing simple elegant American style.Read more ›
Director Whitney Sudler-Smith has created an unfocused, uninformed, and uninspired film purportedly about Halston. However, it becomes very obvious, after only the first 15 minutes, that the "director," has not a clue about (nor a desire to understand) the man who, from his early days as a milliner at Bergdorf Goodman to his position as an uber designer and arbiter of timeless fashion, is responsible for bringing beauty, elegance, and grace to America, not to mention the rest of the world.
Mr. Sudler-Smith is not only a bad "director" but he is unprofessional and a terrible reporter. He constantly interrupts his interviewees when they are answering his ill-founded questions. He unsuccessfully attempts to change the focus from Halston to Diana Vreeland during one interview. His "Dixie" playing cellphone interrupts the flow of another interview. Not to mention, throughout the documentary, his outlandish makeup, hair, and wardrobe changes become more distracting and unappealing with each passing scene.
Apparently, Liza Minnelli's early suggestion to "do some research" fell on Mr. Sudler-Smith's deaf ears.
All of this begs the question, "when will we receive an informative, intelligent, and quality-made documentary deserving of Halston's magnificently sublime creations?"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great material and Halston was such a genius. But the director wants so badly to be a star and somehow associate Halstons greatness with his by constantly putting himself in the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jason
BRILLIANT. The only word to describe Halston. He changed forever the way women dress in a singular, monochromatic scheme. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KY girl living in L.A.
I have always been a big Halston fan - fashion etc. I like the fact that this did not go in the direction of tabloid (at least not too much) I would have liked to see more... Read morePublished 9 months ago by francesa
I wanted to view this film after reading that the producer of Ultrasuede had strongly (and wrongly) inserted himself into the storyline. Read morePublished 9 months ago by E. Bradbury
The only moment noteworthy is watching Andre' Leon Talley realize he is speaking to an absolute idiot! I would not advise anyone watch even for that moment though. Read morePublished 11 months ago by C. Holbrook
Re-edited with a different interviewer, this has the potential to be a GREAT documentary on a great subject. Read morePublished 12 months ago by HBadger
I stopped watching this film after about 15 minutes. I was so looking forward to an interesting look at an important American designer, but instead found an amateurish and... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bb