Despite the mixed reviews Marco Zanini received at Halston last seasonand his subsequent departureall reports indicate that the collection he designed is doing quite well at retail. Women, it seems, were hungering for the twenty-first-century spin he put on Halston's sexy brand of simplicity. So it was rather disappointing to see the straight-from-the-archives reproductions that the nameless Halston design team trotted out for a splashy presentation at the Museum of Modern Art.
The museum was made over to resemble Halston's Paul Rudolph-designed townhouse, complete with gray carpeting, white walls, and gray upholstered seating upon which the models lounged. Too bad. Halston's minimalist creations were all about movementthe way jersey cascaded down your hips as you walked, or chiffon billowed in your wakeand there was just no appreciating that kind of thing when the girls were practically supine.
What one did notice were the colorsthe putties, mauves, and dusty lilacs, as well as bright red, yellow, poppy, and pink, along with one vaguely tribal print. The collection's focus was eveningwear, but scattered among the scarf dresses, caftans, and one-shoulder numbers were a trenchcoat and a shirtdress in washed silk. Will these clothes resonate with shoppers like Zanini's have? Hard to tell. But it's a good bet that without a designer, and a designer's perspective, the label itself will quickly fail to interest the fashion crowd that came out to see it today.