Famous golf-clubs have offered masters the perfect pulpit to design fantasy milieu, 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 snort” Man and the Spoon” peculiarity 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 led by a naked soldier covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a new exhibition about world-wide fraternity culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different imagination environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous outfits and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were dropped 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 ascertained the increase of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you wreaking the negligible pattern elements to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a designing historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical seat- truly the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through lighting and sound, psychotropic medications and parties .”
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