The Battle of Versailles: The true story behind the fashion extravaganza as seen in Netflix's Halston

Author Lewis Lane

Posted Apr 22, 2023

Reads 7.4K

Cheerful young woman hugging cute little girl and reading book together while lying in soft bed in light bedroom at home in daytime

The Battle of Versailles is a legendary event in the fashion industry that has been brought to life in Netflix's Halston, starring Ewan McGregor in the title role and Kelly Bishop playing Lambert Renowned. The competition inside the iconic palace was a turning point for American fashion designers, who were previously undermined by European snobbery. The 1973 battle took place at a time when New York Fashion Week was struggling to gain international recognition.

The reluctant Halston, one of the greatest artists of his generation, backed by his team and other talented fashion designers, faced off against French designers on their own turf. Louis XIV's royal residence became the stage for a fashion event that would change history. What started as a fundraiser for the palace turned into an international showdown between two cultures and their respective styles. Nonetheless, Halston and his peers proved themselves to be worthy opponents who could rival anyone from Europe.

How the Battle of Versailles came to be and the designers who took part

The Battle of Versailles was a historic fashion event that happened in 1973, and it all started with a fundraiser organized by Eleanor Lambert, who also founded New York Fashion Week. The Palace of Versailles was in disrepair, and she had the idea to hold a fashion show there to raise funds to restore its dilapidated walls. The show would display designs from both French and American designers, but what was unique about this event was that underrated American designers were showcased alongside their famous French counterparts.

YouTube video about How the Battle of Versailles came to be and the designers who took part

American designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, Stephen Burrows Klein, and a then-unknown 25-year-old Donna Karan were pitted against French designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Christian Dior's Marc Bohan. This event made history because at the time the French fashion industry was overwhelmingly dominant, and the American fashion industry literally copied French designs which they completely condoned. However, with issues brewing backstage between American designers and their French counterparts monopolizing rehearsal time leading to Halston's upset backstage environment crowded with orchids - it led to interesting dynamics before finally taking fourth place.

In the final performance Liza Minnelli gave a private pep talk to sulk Halston who felt uncomfortable wearing his entire wardrobe on stage which led Oscar de la Renta who recently won an Academy Award for his work on Cabaret to take fourth place in what would be remembered as one of the most important events in fashion history. Robin Givhan documented this pivotal moment in her book "The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight."

Did a woman really die trying to get into nightclub Studio 54?

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Studio 54 was the hottest nightclub in New York City opened by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. With strict entry policies, only a select few could get into the legendary club. In Netflix's Halston, eagle-eyed viewers might spot actors portraying well-known guests including Warhol, drag queen Divine, Bianca Jagger, Warren Beatty, and many others dancing to the hit song "Le Freak." However, not everyone was lucky enough to get inside.

YouTube video about Did a woman really die trying to get into nightclub Studio 54?

According to reports, a Jersey girl named Dory Previn was refused entry one night at Studio 54. In her frustration, she climbed up to the ventilation shaft above the club and attempted to sneak in that way. Unfortunately, she fell down the shaft and died instantly. In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Studio 54 associate Baird Jones told of a man's body that was reportedly discovered during renovations years later but never identified. Was it Dory Previn's? The true story remains a mystery.

Studio 54 may be known for its black tie wear and evading taxes as much as its Broadway production-worthy drama hub. But did a woman really die trying to get into this legendary nightclub? While rumors persist about Dory Previn's fate at Studio 54, one thing is certain: this iconic nightclub continues to capture the imagination of those who missed out on this era or are just looking for something wild to watch tonight on TV Guide.

Unveiling the Truth Behind the Accuracy of Halston

The new Netflix series, "Halston," based on Steven Gaines' acclaimed 1991 book, "Simply Halston," is a remarkable portrayal of the American designer's life. The show features some memorable moments from Halston's collection, including his famous use of ultrasuede and his collaborations with Liza Minnelli. While the show takes creative liberties in certain areas, it stays true to many of the true events surrounding Halston's life.

In fact, much of what is depicted in "Halston" is true, including the audience jumping up and down wildly throwing bananas at Minnelli during one unforgettable runway show. Even the 2019 documentary about Halston presented this scene as part of its retelling of his life story. It is safe to say that "Halston" provides an accurate account of one of America's most beloved designers and will leave audiences craving more insight into his fascinating life.

Did Halston really revolutionise the fashion world in the 1970s?

Did Halston really revolutionise the fashion world in the 1970s? Absolutely. Halston was a trailblazer who turned traditional fashion on its head with his flowing fabrics and comfortable designs. His structured flamboyant styles were a new way for women to express themselves, and his clothes defined all-American style. In fact, the American Fashion Bible Womens Wear Daily wrote that "Halston is America."

YouTube video about Did Halston really revolutionise the fashion world in the 1970s?

Halston's impact on fashion is still felt today, as designers including Isaac Mizrahi and Diane von Furstenberg have cited him as an inspiration. He was also a savvy businessman, creating a business deal that would supply affordable fashion to department store JC Penney. Some believed this cheapened his brand, but Halston saw it as an opportunity to bring high fashion to the masses.

Despite some criticism, Halston successfully created ready-to-wear ranges that could be found in department stores and even on the high street. He also had successful fashion collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld and others. Today, we can learn from Halston's expert tips on how to make a business deal work and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry. So whether you're looking for the latest news or Black Friday 2021 or Cyber Monday 2021 guides, take a page from Halston's book and never stop innovating.

What was Halston's relationship with Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol?

Halston's relationship with Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol was a significant part of his life. Halston and Minnelli's designers friendship began in the 1960s, and he made several iconic outfits for her, including the famous yellow trouser suit she wore to her 1974 wedding with Jack Haley Jr. In the 2019 Halston documentary movie, Minnelli describes Halston as her fashion mate, someone who had a great sense of what would turn heads.

Mona Lisa as Wallpaper on a Computer Screen on a Desk

Warhol introduced Halston to his shy friend Minnelli at Lincoln Center in the early '70s, and they became fast friends. Warhol was also an interesting man in Halston's life; he introduced him to some of his assistants who helped create Warhol's famous print series. At one point, Halston even had one of Warhol's paintings hanging on display at his HS House.

Halston was a regular at Studio 54 with Liza, Bianca Jagger, and Andy Warhol. However, their friendship faded away after a 1978 short film reportedly ended their relationship for good. Nevertheless, their relationships played an essential role in shaping Halston's career and life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Halston's Netflix miniseries 'unauthorised' and'misrepresentative'?

Yes, the Halston miniseries on Netflix is unauthorized and has been criticized for being misrepresentative of the late designer's life and career.

Is Halston a true story?

Yes, Halston is a true story based on the life of legendary fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, who rose to fame in the 1970s and became a prominent figure in the industry before his downfall in the 1980s.

What happened at Versailles?

Versailles was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which ended World War I and imposed significant penalties on Germany. The palace itself was also a symbol of French power and extravagance during the reigns of Louis XIV to XVI.

Does Netflix's Halston have the most success?

Netflix's Halston has been well-received by audiences and critics alike, but whether it has the "most success" is subjective and dependent on various factors such as viewership numbers and awards won.

Does Halston's brand still exist?

Yes, Halston's brand still exists. However, it has gone through various ownership changes and is now owned by the global fashion company, Authentic Brands Group.

Featured Images:

Profile photo of Lewis Lane

Lewis Lane

Writer at Wellesleyweb

View His Articles

Lewis Lane is an accomplished writer and blogger with a passion for sharing his knowledge and insights on a variety of topics. His writing style is clear, concise, and engaging, making it easy for readers to understand even the most complex subjects. With years of experience in the field, Lewis has become an expert in his chosen area of focus.

View His Articles