You’re in for a wild ride: Netflix's new Halston miniseries from Ryan Murphy is set to premiere on Friday, May 14th—just in time for a weekend marathon.
Viewers will catch a glimpse of glam 1970’s New York through the eyes of the iconic fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, known single-name-style as Halston, who is played by Ewan McGregor. Plus, those who tune in will witness the ostentation and tumult that defined Halston’s legacy.
From trips to Studio 54 with the likes of Liza Minnelli to madcap gatherings at his Upper East Side home, Halston called New York City his playground. Naturally, the story lends itself to a great set, and the Halston Netflix cast and crew utilized gorgeous Gotham as much as possible to recreate his story.
Based on the novel Simply Halston by Steven Gaines, the five-episode series follows the designer’s rise to fame, and ultimately, his downfall. He might’ve been known for his minimalistic looks, but his lifestyle—per the series—is anything but. Excessive partying, drug use, and sexual encounters led to Halston being ousted from his own company in the mid-'80s. And New York served as the backdrop for all of it.
Where was the Halston miniseries filmed?
Much of the limited-edition series was filmed in New York City in early 2020, but production ultimately had to be postponed to later in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark Ricker—who was recognized by the Academy Awards this year for his work in the Oscar-nominated movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—served as the show's production designer.
Since Halston got his start as a milliner at midtown's luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, many of the establishing shots are along Fifth Avenue in the fifties. A scene in which hoards of customers line up to buy the Jackie Kennedy-approved Halston pillbox hat was filmed at the IRL department store.
Along with other famed midtown shots like the Plaza Hotel and the Pulitzer Fountain, you’ll find many scenes set in Manhattan’s communal backyard, Central Park, around the Upper West and Upper East Sides during the fall.
Halston’s sprawling office was located in the Olympic Tower. The series faithfully recreates the red-carpeted ‘70sesque space, which overlooks the Manhattan skyline and the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, according to Wallpaper (opens in new tab). Halston would frequently transform the office space into a catwalk for his coveted fashion shows.
We see where Halston works, but also where he plays: namely, Studio 54. The real Studio 54 has presently transitioned from a celebrity-filled nightclub to a Broadway theater, and because theaters were closed due to the pandemic, the crew couldn't film in the original space, production designer Mark Ricker told Curbed (opens in new tab). Instead, the Netflix crew transformed New York's Hammerstein Ballroom into the interiors of the legendary club.
"The whole lobby we just created…we just tried to reduce the space with a lot of those Mylar curtains, and get the scale of the famous gold bar and the DJ booth, and then of course the neon and the light columns with the flashing bulbs, and of course the silver sofas with the tube cushions," Ricker told Curbed.
Halston allegedly spent quite a bit of his time at Studio 54 back in the day and in one memorable scene from the show can be found throwing a party for Bianca Jagger, then-wife of Mick and one of the "Halsonettes," who arrives at the shindig on—what else?—a white horse.
New York also subbed in for some international cities throughout the series. For example, one scene taking place at Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport was actually filmed at the Brooklyn Public Library!
In another scene, the Palace of Versailles—the real-life setting of The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show between five American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, and Anne Klein) and five French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin, Marc Bohan, and Hubert de Givenchy) in November 1973—was played onscreen by the Alder Manor in Yonkers and the Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Who would've thought?
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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