When planning this week's posts, I realized that most of them have to do with parties or tablesettings. I can't figure out if I'm itching to go to a party or to host one. I'm hoping it's the former because God knows I don't have the time over the next few weeks to play hostess. Anyway, today's post is about entertaining chez Halston.
The October 1977 House Beautiful article from which these photos were scanned focused on the interiors of Halston's Paul Rudolph designed townhouse, one of the only townhouses built in Manhattan since World War II. (This article was written in 1977, so perhaps others have been built since then.) The interiors were awash in white and gray, a color that Halston felt looked good on everybody. In the spacious living room, furniture was upholstered in a knit flannel that the designer also used in his clothing collection. The floors were covered in a gray velvet carpet that Halston had designed for Karastan, one that resembled Halston's beloved Ultrasuede. The designer preferred a spartan way of living (that is, in his decorating), so he avoided copious amounts of accessories and artwork. Only a few choice pieces were hung here and there. The walled garden off of the living room, planted with bamboo, was backed in mirror in order to reflect light into the home. Now that's chic.
But what really caught my eye was the dining table set for a dinner party. The lucite block table was also a Rudolph design. It almost looks like a slab of ice. Because Halston felt that "candlelight coming up from below is the most flattering light", Elsa Peretti designed votives were scattered across the tabletop. Now you know that I adore Peretti's designs, especially her creations from this era, but I'll be honest- those votives look very similar to the cheapo versions that I bought at Pier 1. Not that that's a bad thing. The flatware and crystal were from Tiffany.
What's interesting is that Halston said that he never set the table as it was photographed here. Instead, he used the table as a bar or a buffet. He felt that people preferred to be close to the floor, so guests tended to dine at the marble-topped cocktail table, on hassocks on the floor, or on the stairs. And in terms of the menu, Halston believed that people ate lighter in the evenings, meaning no elaborate courses were served. Dinners often began with crudites followed by entrees of blanquette de veau, salmon, or baked potato with caviar. It was simple but delicious fare.
No mention was made in the article of whether Sister Sledge's "He's the Greatest Dancer" played at Halston's get-togethers.
All images from House Beautiful, October 1977.