And by “fashion elite”, I mean nothing specific at all.
Text: Iliana Deligiorgi
(Images: © AP)
Everyone wanted in. The place where you could find fast-food employees dancing to disco next to Bianca Jagger, Liza Minelli, Grace Jones, Gloria Gaynor, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elton John, Andy Warhol or Farrah Fawcett. The place where the front-door policy was invented, only it wasn’t as fake as it is today. The dress-code? I can’t tell you about that. There was no guarantee you would enter, making your way as the rest of the crown, expecting the doorman to point at you screaming “You rule, free admission” to end up in your bed 15 minutes later, because you didn’t make it in. One night you were in, the next you weren’t. Or in the best case, you did get in every night, but the rest of your company had to stay outside or hit another club in NYC, because Studio 54 didn’t need them.
What Studio 54 needed after all? Probably people that could carry the energy of what they were wearing, some theatricality, nakedness, sassiness or even just an elegant suit, you never knew whether you’d make it or not. Clothing was a big deal for this glorious place, where you could meet the elite of fashion designers, such as Calvin Klein, Halston or Charles Jourdan. Drag queens, snakeskin boots, minimal dresses, theatrical costumes that made the barmen confuse real policemen with costumers; anything happened inside Studio 54. And if you were in, you knew you belonged to the elite of Manhattan’s nightlife.
Amanda’s Lear “Fashion Pack” song about Studio 54 gives an accurate description of what was happening every evening outside the club: “It was night and suddenly I felt like dancing…I took a cab to show me to the disco scene. He said: “Ok, you wanna see those crazy people, hastling at the door to get into Studio 54”.