WHILE ENVIRONMENTALISTS have been preoccupied with soaring oil prices and carbon footprints, fashionistas this season have been busy with their own Three R's - revive, relaunch, rebrand. No longer just applicable to the cyclical nature of trends in the industry, the Three Rs have taken over this autumn/winter with a handful of the biggest fashion brands of decades past set to make a comeback. Leading the pack in the reinvention game is Halston, a name synonymous with the flower-power era of the 10970s. 'You are only as good as the people you dress,' Roy Halston famously said and indeed at the height of Halston mania, the designer put needle to thread for style mavens Jackie Onassis, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger. But the brand lost credibility in the mid-1970s when the name was sold to US department store chain J.C. Penney. It went mass-market and alienated the high-end crowd he once catered for. Last year, Halston was bought by a powerhouse panel that includes movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Tamara Mellon of Jimmy Choo. 'The relaunch of Halston stemmed from a relatively simple revelation,' says Mellon. 'We remembered the strength and impact of the US luxury house and recognised a gap that has been evident in the fashion world for many years. We're not trying to revive a brand name, we're trying to pay homage to the man himself.' Marco Zanini, ex-head designer at Versace, was appointed creative director and given the task of revising the brand while staying true to the Halston heritage. Zanini's debut collection pays tribute to the legacy, keeping to the simple silhouettes and neutral tones - with only a smattering of colour in coppers and ochres - that transformed American style, paving the way for designers such as Calvin Klein. Women's Wear Daily recently reported that Zanini had parted ways with the company, although this does not seem to have impacted the hype that surrounds the collection in Europe and Asia. British online fashion establishment Net-a-porter.com signed a deal with the brand to sell key catwalk looks as soon as the show had debuted. The shirt-dress sold out within an hour, making it the fastest-selling item in the site's history. In Hong Kong the collection is exclusively available at Lane Crawford. Across the pond, another name attempting to re-establish itself is Ossie Clark. One of the most influential designers in British history, Clark pioneered the free-flowing scoop-neck silhouettes and colourful romantic prints that continue to inspire today. Marc Worth, co-founder of online fashion information website WGSN, bought the licence last year with the hope of immersing himself in the brand's rebirth. Worth tapped Saint Martin's alum Avsh Alom Gur, who previously worked at Chloe and Donna Karan, to head the relaunch with a handpicked team that culminated in a showing at the Serpentine Gallery as part of London Fashion Week this year. The collection comprises only 16 looks and combined billowing blouses with voluminous sleeves and printed maxi dresses. But it received mixed reviews from critics, some saying Gur failed to capture the real essence of Ossie Clark. Bill Blass, another 70s fashion staple returning this season under Peter Som, also failed to impress critics deeming Som's debut as a far too safe and literal interpretation of the original house style. Som recently announced his resignation as creative director at Blass, but due to contractual obligations, he may have to see his post through one more season. Biba too has struggled with its revival, relaunching in 2006 under designer Bella Freud with little results. Last March, it was reinvented yet again under the talents of Hector Castro, this time to critical success. It seems the difficulty in resurrecting a defunct brand lies in marrying a house's core aesthetics with contemporary sensibilities and making it relevant to today. This is an undertaking that involves more than simply drawing from an archive and recreating bygone looks. To achieve the success of the original fashion legends, designers must take a cue from their predecessors, and revolutionise.