Famous teams have offered masters the perfect stage to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing “states parties ” ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the legendary Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” boast that would descend from the ceiling where needed, there are still accumulations of cash in the back area, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a pony on the dancefloor is presided over by a naked follower covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new show about world society culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fiction environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous costumes and theatre of the party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were descent from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the fashion designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday party with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s ensure the increase of the relevant recommendations that you don’t design a nightclub, you bringing the negligible design components to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a blueprint historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical infinite- certainly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through igniting and sound, psychotropic doses and people .”
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