See the cast of Halston and their real-life counterparts
Ryan Murphy never met a glamorous cadre of real-life figures he didn’t want to bring to the screen. This time it’s the luminaries of New York’s ‘60s and ‘70s fashion scene (Studio 54!), as seen through the eyes of iconic designer Halston (Ewan McGregor). While some of the faces on Netflix’s Halston might be more recognizable than others, the show introduces viewers to some of the biggest movers and shakers in the fashion industry. Here’s a look at the cast of Halston and their real-life counterparts.
Ewan McGregor – Halston
Roy Halston Frowick, known simply as Halston, redefined American fashion in the 1970s. His introduction of clean, simple designs featuring practical fabrics like Ultrasuede and passion for colorful caftans upended the more structured silhouettes of the decades preceding Halston’s emergence on the scene. McGregor brings plenty of panache and artful turtlenecks and sunglasses to his take on the singular talent.
Krysta Rodriguez – Liza Minnelli
Liza with a Z, meet Krysta with a K. The most iconic figure in Halston's orbit is none other than Liza Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland and star in her own right. Rodriguez brings a subtle take on Minnelli’s unmistakable vocal quality, while we get to see Liza in her prime. Halston did design her ensemble the night she won her Oscar after all.
Kelly Bishop – Eleanor Lambert
Eleanor Lambert might not be a name many people recognize today, but she was an absolutely essential force in American fashion. As a fashion publicist, she helped American design and New York City as a fashion hub emerge on the international stage. Lambert founded New York Fashion Week, the Met Gala, the International Best Dressed List, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Gilmore Girls’ Kelly Bishop brings Lambert to life, as an advocate for Halston and one of the brains behind the Battle of Versailles.
David Pittu – Joe Eula
Fashion illustrator Joe Eula was the creative director of Halston for 10 years (and over his career, he worked with the likes of Chanel, Givenchy, Versace, and more). In the series, he’s portrayed by David Pittu as a sounding board for Halston, a steady, if occasionally acerbic presence, at the fashion house who keeps Halston on his toes until he's pushed to his breaking point.
Rory Culkin – Joel Schumacher
Yes, that Joel Schumacher. The Batman director began his career as a fashion designer, eventually breaking in to the movies via costume and production design. But one of his earliest jobs was working with Halston (while combatting the challenges of substance abuse that had began at a very young age). Rory Culkin brings to life the younger, slightly lost version of the man who would go on to become a renowned director, writer, and producer.
Rebecca Dayan – Elsa Peretti
Another bright light in Halston’s life is Elsa Peretti, one of his earliest and most impactful models, known as Halstonettes. Peretti was a designer in her own right, specifically of jewelry. After her time at Halston, she went on to become an influential presence at Tiffany’s, designing some of their most beloved collections and accounting for 10 percent of their business at one juncture. French actress Rebecca Dayan, who studied fashion design and has worked as a model, brings Peretti to life with plenty of real-life experience to inform her take.
Gian Franco Rodriguez – Victor Hugo
One of Halston’s most enduring romantic partners, Victor Hugo was also an artist in his own right. He excelled specifically in window dressing, creating displays for Halston’s storefront. He also worked as one of Andy Warhol’s assistants at the Factory, eventually bringing Warhol’s distinctive pop art to his window designs. Gian Franco Rodriguez offers us a glimpse at Victor Hugo as a party animal and tumultuous if stalwart figure in Halston’s life.
Bill Pullman — David Mahoney
Businessman David Mahoney is at the heart of the drama in much of Halston, as he uses his business acumen to steer Halston to success but must contend with Halston’s artistic temperament. Ultimately, this leads to a battle for the Halston trademark. The real David Mahoney was a well-respected business leader as president/CEO of companies such as Good Humor and Norton Simon Inc. Bill Pullman, who’s entertained audiences across film and television for decades, gives Mahoney a perfect blend of warmth and edge in the series.
Elena McGhee — Anne Klein
Naturally a show about a fashion designer will include other notable designers. Episode 2 brings us to Paris for a famous fashion show dubbed the Battle of Versailles where five French and five American designers showcased their collections as part of an effort to raise money to renovate the palace at Versailles. Anne Klein, who launched her own label in 1968 after years in the fashion business, was the only woman invited to participate – and we see her briefly here as played by Elena McGhee.
Juan Carlos Diaz – Oscar De La Renta
Perhaps one of the most famous names in fashion ever (especially if you’re an awards show aficionado), Oscar De La Renta is another participant in the Battle of Versailles. He’s the biggest name designer in the show, thus causing Halston to revolt when he takes the coveted final spot in the lineup, bumping Halston from that positioning. Juan Carlos Diaz is the actor who brings the fashion legend to life in episode 2.
Micah Peoples – Stephen Burrows
Another luminary of the Battle of Versailles was Stephen Burrows, the youngest designer featured there by over a decade. Burrows was a trailblazing Black designer, known for his colorful designs and presence in the 1970s disco scene. He made a name for himself working with luxury department store Bendel’s. Micah Peoples brings him to life in Halston.
Peter Gregus – Bill Blass
Another notable participant in the Battle of Versailles was American designer Bill Blass. He was best known for being the first couture designer to start a menswear line. Blass is portrayed by Peter Gregus in episode 2.
Sietzka Rose – Karen Bjornson
Supermodel Karen Bjornson got her start as a Halstonette, modeling some of the designer’s most iconic collections. She even famously rocked one of his looks on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Sietzka Rose portrays her in the series as part of the Halston entourage.
Mary Beth Peil — Martha Graham
Television's favorite grandma Mary Beth Peil (Dawson's Creek) gets a small feature as famous choreographer and dance innovator Martha Graham. Another illustrious friend of Halston's, Graham tries to help him find his way through his 1980s business trouble, offering him an opportunity to costume her new show. It becomes a triumphant career high for Halston.