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‘Halston’ Costume Designer Jeriana San Juan on Her Conscious Fashion Faves: “I Think Women Seek Pieces With Power”


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“It was a daunting challenge to paint this artist’s voice correctly,” says New York-based costume designer Jeriana San Juan of recreating the aesthetic of iconic American designer Halston in the new Ryan Murphy limited series of the same name. “I’m pleased that people who knew him personally and wore his clothes and had a firsthand tactile experience with those things feel like they look like they have come back to life on camera. That means a lot to me.”

San Juan — whose previous credits include The Plot Against America, The Sinner and The Get Down — spoke a few weeks ago with THR about her work on Halston. Here, she talks about her current favorite fashion items and her own personal style, including these four points:

1. She calls her style “somewhere between minimalist and eclectic fashion nerd.”

2. “I find myself being really drawn to vintage personally.”

3. “I always want there to be one focal point to any outfit.”

4. Not unlike Halston, who was known for “his infamous black turtleneck and trousers,” San Juan dresses “almost exclusively in black or black and white and that’s in part because when I’m working, I’m dressing in a functional way and I really want the actor to be the focal center of the fitting room. I just don’t want to draw focus in that way.”

As far as developing a personal look, she advises, “the message is that style is what is important, not necessarily just fashion labels. I think it’s something I grew up with and I did not always have all the means. And yet my grandmother who immigrated here from Cuba and didn’t have much money was one of the most fashionable people I can imagine. She just styled herself in such a way and made money of her own clothes. She was very self-inventive and I think I model myself after that.” She adds, “There’s not one ideal. It’s more about celebrating what your specific unique voice is and how you can be an individual.”

San Juan is also a proponent of eco-conscious shopping, hence her preference for vintage over fast fashion. “That’s been an important message, in seeing just how destructive the fashion industry can be to our environment. I always want to spread the message that style doesn’t mean buying a million new tops every season. It’s something about finding one great one and something that you can reinterpret a thousand ways and will stay with you for years. I just always want to shop consciously and support brands that are sustainable or that you know give back in some way.”

Here are some of her favorite fashion finds and beauty must-haves.

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1. 1920s Pink and Pistachio Pajamas from Ally Bird Vintage

“When Pajamas are a lifestyle,” says San Juan. “Ally Bird Vintage has been an up-and-coming vintage star in NY and I love buying pieces from her to support. Lately I’ve been collecting summer vintage pajamas that I will wear as separates or even together with a great pair of modern sandals. I find that vintage clothes have wonderful details and I appreciate the positive environmental impact.”

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Ally Bird Vintage

1920s Pajamas from Ally Bird Vintage


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2. Lingua Nigra Build a Ladder Earrings

“Personally obsessed with these statement earrings from Lingua Nigra. It’s been a year of Zoom meetings and I’ve become very interested again in accessorizing with bold earrings by the face. There is a very distinct feminine power that comes with wearing statement earrings, I just love the way these capture that raw emotional power.”

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Lingua Nigra Build a Ladder Earrings


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3. Min-k Brooklyn H’s Cabinet Ruffle Back Cropped Jacket

“This Jacket is easy to layer over almost any look and is from one of my favorite local stores in Brooklyn. I love to support small businesses and local designers.”

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Min-k Brooklyn Ruffle Back Cropped Jacket


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4. Fernando Sanchez Reversible Quilted Robe from Arcade

“I think the world has a new found appreciation for loungewear and comfortable clothes for home that still manage to make you feel elegant and empowered. That is exactly why I invest in beautiful vintage loungewear pieces like this robe.”

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Fernando Sanchez Reversible Quilted Robe


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5. 1960s Silver Geometric Cocktail Dress from Morphew Vintage

“There is a renewed excitement in getting dressed up to hit the town, and I’d love to do it in something like this 60’s metallic mod mini. Vintage pieces like this will be eternally chic, playful, and cool.”

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1960s Silver Geometric Cocktail Dress


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6. Morphew Collection Gunmetal Patchwork Metal Mesh Top

“I used many of these metal mesh tops on the dance floor of Studio 54 in Halston. This re-imagined vintage one is perfect modernized one for a first night back out on the town.”

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Morphew Collection Mesh Top


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7. Nineh Maria Leather Skirt

“I think women seek pieces with power and this one is so modern and easy to style a million ways. It’s a bonus that this cool Brooklyn-based brand has a positive social and environmental impact.”

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Nineh Maria Leather Skirt


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8. Nineh The Helena Corset

“I love mixing feminine ideals with strong materials. There is a toughness to this bodice that I really enjoy and I love the idea of wearing it over a white dress shirt to give it a versatile strength. Nineh is also a company that gives back to the Saheli women of India, providing independence in financial security and education.”

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Nineh The Helena Corset


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9. Kindred Black Tranquility Oil

“In costume design, work can be stressful and days long, plus I have a little one at home so it’s nice to take little moments of ‘me time’ at the end of a long day to treat myself with this herbal infused tranquility oil. This company also creates hand blown glass bottles for every product meaning no single use plastic waste.”

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Kindred Black

Kindred Black Tranquility Oil


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10. Aquaphor Healing Ointment

“Between grabbing hangers all day and washing my hands for consecutive Happy Birthdays, this tried-and-true ointment is always in my bag. It nourishes and protects skin from dryness and all the elements, it’s also a great instant treatment for anything that is making your skin sensitive. I use it for my daughter as well.”

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment, Set of 3, 1.75 oz



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