Famous sororities have offered creators the perfect pulpit to design fantasy contexts, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing “states parties ” ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the famed Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” feature that they are able to descend from the ceiling when required, there were stockpiles of cash in the back area, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a horse on the dancefloor conducted in accordance with a naked humanity covered in gold glitter.
The key happening about Studio 54, which features in a new show about world golf-club culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasize home to act as backdrop for the extravagant costumes and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were stopped 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 determined the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you bring the negligible blueprint constituents 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 cavity- certainly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through igniting and sound, psychotropic medicines and people .”
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