Ewan McGregor plays the fashion icon through his highs and lows.
The series follows legendary fashion designer Halston (Ewan McGregor) from his first acclaim designing Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pillbox hat to his eventual death in 1990. Along the way we see his friendship with Liza Minnelli (Krysta Rodriguez), his participation in the Battle of Versailles fashion show, his success with 70s fashion and fragrances, and his trials and tribulations in the 1980s. Other major characters include model and jewelry designer Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan), Halston’s design illustrator Joe Eula (David Pittu), his business manager David Mahoney (Bill Pullman), and his lover Victor Hugo (Gian Franco Rodriguez). Also includes a great bit part with Rory Culkin as Joel Schumacher, and we need a movie about him directing The Lost Boys.
Krysta Rodriguez is an absolute treasure in this series. She first shows up by singing “Liza with a Z” and does several of Liza’s songs as well as anyone can… except Liza Minnelli, but that’s hardly fair since Liza Minnelli is a goddess masquerading as mortal. I know that Ewan McGregor is the star and, as you would expect, he’s very good in this series, but Krysta Rodriguez steals every single scene she’s in.
The series is a pretty standard biopic. It starts with the sad childhood, goes to the early success, goes through the episode dedicated to a great achievement that gained international notoriety, then there’s the episode where they lose it all due to excess, then the comeback for the happy ending. Even if that’s not how the figure’s life actually played out, that’s almost always how you structure a biopic. In this case, it does largely seem to actually mirror Halston’s life, so it feels a bit more genuine. If you like biopics about wild personalities, this one will probably do it for you. If you like fashion, this will probably be a must see.
Overall, pretty good mini-series. I enjoyed it, even though my fashion sense is non-existent.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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