Inside Halston and Liza Minelli's close friendship

17 May 2021, 10:23

Liza Minnelli with fashion designer, Halston
Liza Minnelli with fashion designer, Halston. Picture: Getty

By Emma Clarke

A new five-episode Netflix series on the fashion designer's life has landed on the streaming site.

Liza Minnelli and fashion designer Halston had a particularly close friendship.

Netflix's latest biopic series, Halston, is set to be a good'ne - with critics widely praising Ewan McGregor's performance and the show serving stylish filmography no end.

As well as covering Halston's rise to fame in 1970s for his sleek, minimalist designs, the series will delve into his person life and his relationship with the Studio 54 elite.

Here, we take a closer look at Halston's famed friendship with actress and singer, Liza Minnelli.

Who plays Liza Minnelli in Netflix's Halston?

American actress and singer Krysta Rodriguez is playing Judy Garland's daughter in the new limited series.

Ahead of the show's release, a sneak peak of Rodriguez performing 'Liza with a Z' was revealed by Netflix.

“It wasn't that difficult to perform,” says Rodriguez. “For me, that was the easy part to sink into because I’m from the theatre world.”

HALSTON | Official Trailer | Netflix

How did Halston meet Liza Minnelli?

The pair met through Liza's godmother, Kay Thompson, who introduced the star to the designer by setting up an appointment at his studio.

Recalling the first time she met Halston, Minnelli said: "We got along instantly, and he became my fashion mate."

Shortly after their meet, the pair became synonymous with one another, with Halston fitting Minnelli in beautiful clothes and the pals regularly hanging out at the iconic Studio 54 - along with the likes of Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Cher and Anjelica Huston.

Halston's iconic designs for Liza

According to Minnelli, Halston taught her how to dress. She first spotted one his designs - a trouser and jumper ensemble - in Bloomingdale's while out shopping with Thompson.

"It was cut differently--thinner and longer. It was chicer. And I thought, Oh, wow, this is great."

Despite having missed out on an Academy Award in 1970, Minnelli had her sights set on bagging Best Actress in 1972 for her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

For the Oscars that year, Minnelli donned a dazzling, golden yellow two-piece designed by her friend and confidante Halston.

Minnelli's wardrobe was dominated by Halston pieces, and after he introduced her to Andy Warhol, they, and Bianca Jagger, soon became inseparable.

Halston even threw a white-themed party for Jagger at Studio 54, where she and Minnelli set free white doves.

The gang were often spotted at the decadent New York nightclub, or at Halston's apartment at 101 East 63rd Street.

Liza Minnelli and Halston at the Martha Graham Dance Company Benefit Gala
Liza Minnelli and Halston at the Martha Graham Dance Company Benefit Gala. Picture: Getty

What has Liza said about her friendship with Halston?

Talking to Harper's Bazaar about their bond, Minnelli said: "I did what he said. He really took care of me."

When Minnelli was still trying to carve a name for herself - beyond the legacy of her parents - she told Halston she couldn't afford fine jewellery. He told her: "'All right, you can't afford gold, and men have to buy you diamonds, so you have to wear silver.'"

Whilst initially "appalled" by the suggestion, Halston presented her with Elsa Peretti: "I had never seen anything like it. He dressed me, and suddenly I was able to go anywhere I wanted."

In addition to landing Minnelli on the best dressed list with his designs and impeccable taste, Liza says: "H. was wonderful. He had a great sense of humour about himself, and he pushed the envelope. He put us on the map."

Liza Minnelli's commitment to Halston's legacy

The pair remained close friends until his death in 1990, aged 57.

Following Halston's passing, Minnelli sponsored a tribute to the fashion designer at the Lincoln Center. A reception at Elsa Peretti's house followed.

At the time of his death, Minelli commented: “I’m very, very saddened by this loss. I just lost my best friend.”

Halston is available to watch on Netflix now.