Famous teams have offered artists the perfect programme to design fantasy homes, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing a party ,” 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 would condescend from the ceiling when required, there were collections of cash in the back room, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a pony on the dancefloor is presided over by a naked mortal covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which is available in a new expo about world fraternity culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasize medium to act as backdrop for the outrageous clothings and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were put 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 met the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you wreaking the negligible motif constituents to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a motif historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical opening- certainly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through lighting and sound, psychotropic medications and beings .”
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