Famous guilds have offered creators the perfect platform to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing “states parties ” ,” 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” peculiarity that would pitch from the ceiling when required, there were piles of cash in the back chamber, unisex showers and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a horse on the dancefloor is presided over by a naked humankind covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new exhibition about world sorority culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous costumes and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were plummeted 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 accompanied the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you wreaking the minimal layout points 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 room- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through illuminating and sound, psychotropic stimulants and parties .”
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