Famous sororities have offered creators the perfect scaffold to design fantasy surroundings, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing 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 snort” Man and the Spoon” facet that would tumble from the ceiling when required, there were collections of cash in the back chamber, unisex lavatories and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a pony on the dancefloor is presided over by a naked guy covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a new exhibit about world squad culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fiction situation to act as backdrop for the outrageous outfits 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 realized the increase of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you drawing the minimal design 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 seat- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through lighting and sound, psychotropic dopes and beings .”
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