Geared for fashion design students, the Halston-inspired competition was first held at the Fashion Institute of Technology. As was the case with students there in New York, Istituto Marangoni Miami students will gain hands-on experience and insights into Halston’s style and talents.
With Love Halston is led by Halston’s niece Lesley Frowick, who has been working for years to preserve his legacy. Born Roy Halston Frowick and known simply as “Halston,” the designer was known for his streamlined and minimalist designs that helped define ’70s style. The Midwesterner rose to international fame as one of the most influential American designers of the 20th century. Palling around with celebrity friends like Liza Minnelli and Elsa Peretti, Halston was a familiar face with the rollicking Studio 54 crowd — such highflying times were depicted in the Netflix series “Halston.”
Needless to say, that biopic did not go over well with Frowick, who has emphasized in interviews Halston’s work ethic and mastery. Teaming up with students and launching The Halston Challenge is one of the ways that the nonprofit is trying to make future generations familiar with Halston’s designs and career.
The designer died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 57 in 1990.
The competition requires the use of Ultrasuede, the fabric that the late designer helped to bring to the forefront. Seven or so executives at Halston will be judging the two rounds of competition with the students’ creations, adhering to a five-point criteria. The deadline for the first round is set for June 10. Participants have been tasked with dreaming up inspiration boards, paper sketches with fabric swatches, front and back view flats, and fashion illustration sketches that could work as an advertising page for Halston. IMM’s dean and director of education Massimo Casagrande is heading up the project.
Eight finalists will be selected to advance to the second round. The deadline for the second round is Aug. 19. Round-two participants will need to whip up a garment based on the vision for their individual capsule collections. All eight finalists will exhibit their work during Art Basel Miami 2022.
Three finalists will be named on Nov. 28 and will receive scholarships, as well as the opportunity to have their fashion illustrations published in FIDA: The Fashion Arts & Illustration Magazine.
In a statement, IMM’s founder and president Hakan Baykam said the competition challenges young designers to consider the importance of fabrics in their designs “at a moment in time, when sustainability and wearability must be in sync.”
Showing the students work during Art Basel is sure to introduce or re-introduce Halston to an assortment of creatives.
The FIT students also had a prime location, when they staged a mini runway show in late April in New York. Participants really had a discriminating audience at the National Arts Club, where friends of Halston including several of his fellow designers gathered to celebrate what would have been Halston’s 90th birthday.
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