Frowick, niece of Roy Halston, known as "Halston,"
ties a belt on one of his dresses as she prepares
for the opening of "Halston and Warhol:
Silver and Suede" Tuesday at the Andy Warhol
Museum in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 14, 2014.
late American fashion designer Halston is remembered —
and revered — for his use of luxe fabrics, rich colors
and clean silhouettes that allowed women who slipped on
one of his ultrasuede shirtdresses or velvet pajama sets
to feel confident, comfortable and effortlessly chic.
who knew him personally remember his generous nature,
perfectionist mentality and way of offering suggestions.
never commanded people. He suggested," says his
niece, Lesley Frowick.
designer gave her his personal archives and suggested
that if she should ever want to write a book about him
she’d have everything she’d need. She followed
through and her research for the book, slated for
publication in October by Rizzoli, led her to The Andy
Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
of the overlap between Halston and Warhol’s personal
and professional lives, the museum offered her the
opportunity to co-create an exhibit spotlighting the
pair’s relationship and contributions to art and
exhibit "Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede"
opened this month to the public and will run through
Aug. 24. It is presented by PNC Financial Services, a
partner to The Warhol since 2004.
display of Halston creations, Warhol art, ephemera,
photos and video clips takes visitors from Halston’s
early years as a self-taught milliner in Chicago to the
pinnacle of his career dressing celebrities and his
devoted models, dubbed "the Halstonettes." The
exhibit also features the pillbox hat he designed for
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1961, an homage to Studio
54 and a set-up reminiscent of runway shows held at his
midtown Manhattan office at Olympic Tower.
Frowick, it’s a walk down memory lane. The daughter of
diplomat Robert H. Frowick, she remembers Halston
sending her mother hats he designed and designer dresses
(before he had started making his own).
mother was probably always the best-dressed person at
the functions," she says. "Throughout his
career, he was always giving his creations away."
he designed for Frowick also are on display.
just figured out my whole wardrobe for me," she
says, particularly while she worked for him in the early
1980s. She went on to study at the International Center
of Photography in New York and became a photographer.
was his little wing person going along with him, and he
wanted me to be dressed appropriately."
her stint with him in her early 20s, she became
acquainted with his circle of star-studded friends,
including Warhol. He was "quiet, funny and
curious," she writes in the exhibit catalog. She
recounts weekends in Montauk with Halston and Warhol,
who came dressed for the beach in long sleeves with a
parasol and zinc ointment on his face to protect his
sensitive skin. He was a regular guest at her uncle’s
shows and parties. On the last birthday she celebrated
with Warhol before he died, he gave her an "I.O.U.
one art." She also was the subject of one of his
remember distinctly he was wearing all black, like black
jeans and black Keds and a black leather jacket and a
funny little wig and chitty chatting," she says.
portrait, along with other Warhol Polaroids, are part of
addition to Warhol, Halston found inspiration in works
by artists Jackson Pollock and Vincent Van Gogh. He
borrowed Warhol’s colorful "Flowers" theme
and incorporated it into some of his pieces. The
painting and dress are the anchor pieces of the show.
a nature boy," Halston often said.
Warhol and their notable friends — including modern
dance great Martha Graham — supported each other.
Warhol collected Halston shoes and cosmetics, and
Halston commissioned Warhol to do a series of ads for
him in the 1980s. The designer also sometimes slipped a
Warhol image into window displays at his boutique on
Madison Avenue and decorated his stark, minimally
furnished townhouse with Warhols.
were networking before people were networking,"
of Warhol’s time capsules contain artifacts of their
friendship, such as one filled with "Muppets"
memorabilia from Jim Henson that Halston signed and
gifted Warhol as a joke for his birthday. After a video
aired showing Miss Piggy shopping for a Halston bridal
gown, her uncle sent Henson cosmetics for the
fashion-forward pig and her frog prince to prep them for
loved it, Frowick says.
Warhol died, Halston was "noticeably upset,"
Frowick writes in the exhibit catalog. She spent the
days after his death with her uncle sharing stories and
era that (Halston) was doing his thing was so unique and
full of razzle dazzle," she says. "Society was
changing so quickly and becoming more integrated. It was
a time in history that just doesn’t exist anymore, not
just historically but in terms of fashion, too."