Famous guilds have offered masters the perfect platform to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing a party ,” 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” aspect that they are able to descend from the ceiling where needed, there are still 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 humankind covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which is available in a new exhibit about world-wide golf-club culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fiction context to act as backdrop for the outrageous attires and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were lowered 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 rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you fetching the minimal blueprint elements to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a pattern historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical seat- certainly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through illuminating and sound, psychotropic medicines and parties .”
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