Tuning into Netflix’s Halston, you might be able to tell that the fashion designer Halston, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, has a bit of a thing for orchid flowers. When his assistant tells him to cut down on orchids to save money, Halston simply replies that orchids are part of his process. Did the real Halston enjoy orchids just as much, or is this quirk merely an onscreen exaggeration? The truth is yes, Halston did love these delicate flowers! The reason isn’t super grandiose, though. Halston’s biographer, Steven Gaines, has suggested that the fashion designer loved orchids simply because his mentor Charles James also appreciated these flowers.
The namesake of the Netflix miniseries had a taste for luxury. Not only did he insist on gowns made from cashmere, but he also kept fresh orchids in his office every day, even if doing so meant spending extravagantly. And clearly, Halston spent good money on his love for orchids. According to The Cut, the designer allocated orchid funds in the low six-figure range at the height of his prominence — he had a yearly $150,000 orchid budget!
Writers and historians like Gaines have suggested that Halston’s love for these flowers came from his relationship with his mentor Charles James, but orchids also became Halston’s very own signature bloom over time. The flower was indeed part of his process; in a way, they emphasized his minimalist sensibilities as an artist. Floral designer Renny Reynolds, who supplied Halston with flowers, told Vogue, “He had a burgundy Gae Aulenti table that he loved to have filled with lots of white phalaenopsis.”
Halston’s affection for orchids lasted a lifetime. The fashion designer maintained his love for these flowers until he died. In the room where he passed away at Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in San Francisco, there were clay pots of white orchids on every table.