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Just a few days ago, Tom Ford bought the former home of Halston in New York, the fetish designer of Manhattan in the 70s. If its walls could talk, they would tell of talent, parties, celebrities and dirty secrets.

Built in 1961, this property is one of Paul Rudolf‘s most iconic works. The architect was one of the most acclaimed in the 1960s, but then his reputation stagnated. The 101 E. 63rd St. is one of three Rudolf houses you’ll find wandering around Manhattan, although this one in particular is less known for its creator than for its famous resident.

Halston: A life of success, luxury and excess

Halston was born in Iowa in 1932, but by 1957 he was walking through the big door in New York. His friend, producer Lester Persky, said that “Halston and New York liked each other from day one because he was the quintessential American; the lanky guy discovering all that the big city had to offer”.

casa de Halston en Nueva York

Halston at his home in New York.

At that time he designed hats and quite successfully, although if he is known for anything it is because in 1960 he designed the pillbox that the future first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, wore at the inaugural ceremony of her husband’s presidency. That little hat launched her career to the top and became a milestone in the history of fashion.

From that moment on, the name Halston was associated with success, glamour and the most famous celebrities of the moment. Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor or Bianca Jagger were some of his regular customers. Even Andy Warhol called his fashion shows “the art form of the 70s”.

His pret-à-porter creations became the dress code of New York nightlife, especially for those attending Studio 54, including Halston himself. The talent and effervescence of the late 1970s was concentrated around the designer and gathered at the famous New York nightclub or in his own home.

casa de Halston en Nueva York

Lauren Hutton in a Halston two-piece design in 1975.

The former Halston House in New York: an architectural and historical landmark

A house that the legendary designer bought in 1974 as the perfect place for his parties. Four floors, 700 square meters, double-height ceilings of almost 10 meters in a huge living room and a rooftop terrace of 150 square meters: the perfect setting for the craziest celebrations. Located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it has four bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, elevator, garage and, perhaps most peculiarly, a three-story greenhouse filled with bamboo. The exterior is in brutalist style, Rudolf’s favorite for most of his projects.

casa de Halston en Nueva York

Brutalist style facade and the large living room.

casa de Halston en Nueva York

Two of the bedrooms, kitchen and gallery of the former Halston house in New York.

Many things are said about that era. They say that one of the most famous events in the decadent history of Studio 54 was the birthday party that Halston hosted for Bianca Jagger in 1977. They also say that the parties never ended at closing time but continued at Halston’s own Manhattan home. “Going to his house with all the movie stars hanging out on the gray couches was very private and glamorous,” iconic model Pat Cleveland recalled to The Post. “There was always music playing, Rigaud candles burning and orchids everywhere.”

casa de Halston en Nueva York

The large living room with double height ceilings of almost 10 meters.

With his success, his character was also born and his ultimate ambition: “to dress all the women in the United States”. He introduced himself by saying: “call me simply Halston” and always wore the same uniforms: turtleneck, blazer and pants for the day and tuxedo with white silk scarf for the night. Sunglasses never left him.

Halston is fashion history

Parties, excesses, luxury and talent, a lot of talent. And the designer’s contribution to the history of fashion is indisputable. Halston took away the shame of American fashion and added to its practical and sporty spirit the refinement that used to be associated with Europe. In short, he created the style of the American woman of the second half of the twentieth century. Designs for all day and any occasion, for the office and for social life, elegant but comfortable, sexy but functional. He redefined the concept of elegance, a sexy elegance that until then seemed to be forbidden in American fashion.

casa de Halston en Nueva York

Fall 1995 collection by Tom Ford for Gucci, inspired by Halston’s style.

Halston died in 1990 and his house, and his empire, have since passed through different hands. However, his legacy remains in the memory of many fashion lovers, including Tom Ford. Just five years after Halston’s death, the designer would revitalize Gucci with a memorable fall-winter collection that drank from Halston’s influence. Now, he has acquired his New York home for $18 million. A house that is not only an unusual piece of architecture but part of the history of an era of luxury, glamour and fashion.