NEW YORK (CNS) — The spectacular rise and fall of a 1970s fashion icon is chronicled in distasteful detail in "Halston," a five-episode series streaming now on Netflix.

Roy Halston Frowick (1932-1990) was a milliner by trade whose claim to fame was designing the iconic pillbox hat worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at the presidential inauguration of her husband. But when the widowed Jackie stopped wearing hats in the late 1960s, collapsing the market, Frowick reinvented himself as a dress designer.

The Netflix drama, adapted from Steven Gaines' 1991 biography "Simply Halston" and starring Ewan McGregor, is graphic and seamy. Halston's lifestyle in New York City in the disco era was notoriously debauched, and executive producer and primary writer Ryan Murphy ("Hollywood") shows little restraint in recounting the designer's addictions to cocaine, hustlers and hedonistic parties at hot spots like Studio 54.

Adding to the explicit sex and nudity are crude and profane language and an overall nastiness, making "Halston" a toxic brew.

A-list names pop in and out of Halston's orbit. His fashion model/muse is Elsa Peretti (Rebecca Dayan), who would go on to become a famous jewelry designer. His best friend is singer and actress Liza Minnelli (Krysta Rodriguez), who agrees to wear Halston's creations on stage and escort him to all the best parties.

As Halston builds his worldwide fashion empire, his appetite for self-gratification is insatiable. He becomes infatuated with prostitute-turned-window-dresser Victor Hugo (Gian Franco Rodriguez), who moves in and soon takes over. Their drug use — supposedly necessary to stir the creative juices — is rampant.

Greed rears its ugly head when Halston is approached by David Mahoney (Bill Pullman), head of Norton Simon Inc., a consumer goods conglomerate. Mahoney offers to diversify the Halston brand into an array of products including perfume and luggage. Halston agrees to sell his name — and soul — for immense wealth, a decision that only fuels his self-destructive lifestyle.

While Halston may have contributed to shaping the fashion tastes of the late 20th century, this portrayal of him is as tasteless as it is exploitative.