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Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston

3.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Special Features

  • An Interview with Director Whitney Sudler-Smith and Producer Adam Bardach, presented by American Express
  • Deleted Scene: GQ Interview

Review

Moving. --Vogue

Must-see film --Fashion Week Daily

This film has a grander trajectory than just about any other fashion doc. --Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

  • Actors: Halston, Billy Joel, Liza Minnelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley
  • Directors: Whitney Sudler-Smith
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Tribeca
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006QVRV1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,506 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I gave up watching this poorly edited, poorly researched documentary after 10 minutes. I have no idea why Whitney Smith was so interested in Halston; his mother thinks is because he loved to watch Smokey and the Bear. WHAT??? Like the 10 minutes of this film I could stand, that was bewildering and off-putting.

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.
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Format: Amazon Video
Very disappointed by this documentary. I think Halston deserves a film that describes why he was so important to the fashion industry and the times he lived in. This film is dull and not engaging. A real shame!
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Format: DVD
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. Surely you have better things to do with your time. The filmmaker/interviewer doesn't seem to know who Halston is or anything about his contributions to the fashion industry or pop culture. The material presented in the documentary is disjointed and the subject of Halston actually seems to be a pretext for the interviewer just to appear onscreen in bad fashion, bad hairstyles, and a replica of the car from Smokey and the Bandit series of movies.
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Format: DVD
Re-edited with a different interviewer, this has the potential to be a GREAT documentary on a great subject. Cut out everything with the film maker showing himself and asking questions that he clearly didn't research beforehand and you have good material. How did he manage to get to sit down with these people? Liza? And for her to tell him the apartment (designed by Halston) was on the cover of Architectural Digest...to which he replied "It was!?" Oh God. It just goes on from there. I'm not entirely convinced it's not Mike Birbiglia doing some sort of conceptual art.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
BRILLIANT. The only word to describe Halston. He changed forever the way women dress in a singular, monochromatic scheme. The iconic ultrasuede dress designed in the '70's is once again in fashion in 2015. I only wish Halston could be alive to see what an incredible impact he made on fashion's futures.
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Format: DVD
Having worked with Halston in the 80s, I have to agree with the review by History Lover. This was a shallow and ill researched film which featured more of Whitney Smiths vapid egotism than the accomplishments of Halston himself. Despite his tragic fall from grace and demise, his accomplisments in his lifetime were many. He was a pioneer in fashion, in business, in licensing, worked to create a distinctive "American" look, and put American fashion front and center on the world stage. He supported the great choreographer Martha Graham and her company both personally and finacially till the end of his life. The enormous pressures of creating an maintaining an empire and a lifestyle that sought to relieve these pressures took a great toll. His life and accomplishments however, are deserving of a more thorough examination and presentation. Perhaps Mr Smith would have done better to do a documentary about Smokey the Bear.
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Having worked with Halston in the 80s, I have to agree with the review by History Lover. This was a shallow and ill researched film which featured more of Whitney Smith's vapid egotism than the accomplishments of Halston himself. Despite his tragic fall from grace and demise, his accomplisments in his lifetime were many. He was a pioneer in fashion, in business, in licensing, worked to create a distinctive "American" look, and put American fashion front and center on the world stage. He supported the great choreographer Martha Graham and her company both personally and finacially till the end of his life.
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