Famous fraternities have offered creators the perfect programme to design fantasy surroundings, says Chris Hall
Caligula shedding a party ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the famous Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” boast that would tumble from the ceiling when required, “theres gonna be” slews of cash in the back area, unisex showers and stunts like Bianca Jagger travelling a pony on the dancefloor led by a naked guy covered in golden glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a new show about world society culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy situation to act as backdrop for the ridiculous dress and theatre of the party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were discontinued from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the clothes designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday defendant with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s experienced the increases of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you create the negligible blueprint parts to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a design historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical cavity- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are attained through igniting and sound, psychotropic dopes and people .”
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