Celebrity Beauty: Brooklyn Museum’s new Studio 54 exhibit lets you slip past the velvet rope

Celebrity Beauty: Brooklyn Museum’s new Studio 54 exhibit lets you slip past the velvet rope

Celebrity Beauty:

September 11, 2020 | 7: 02pm

As co-owner and co-founding father of Studio 54, Ian Schrager remembers when he knew that the New York nightclub was as soon as on its formula to turning into the stuff of disco fable: When a photograph of Cher, arriving for opening night time on April 26, 1977, landed on the cover of The Put up.

“I possess in thoughts Steve [Rubell, his late partner] calling me at 5 a.m. — because of I repeatedly left the membership too early and he repeatedly left too late — telling me that ‘We did it, we did it, we made it on the cover of The New York Put up!’ ” acknowledged Schrager, 74. “And the humorous thing was as soon as, within the first edition that they had — which is the one I came about to possess had in my series — they had ‘Cher at a New York nightclub.’ And we had to name up and web Studio 54 added on to it within the later edition.”

That 43-year-historical reproduction is with out doubt one of many rather a pair of deepest devices that Schrager lent to the newly reopened Brooklyn Museum for the existing “Studio 54: Evening Magic,” which, after being slated to commence in mid-March till the pandemic shut all the issues down, runs thru Nov. 8.

“I saved them for 40 years, and so that they all possess a main which implies to them,” acknowledged Schrager, who went on to develop to be a hotelier after Studio 54 closed in 1980. “I’m extremely joyful that this is in a position to maybe also very neatly be the first time in history that a nightclub has its have confidence featured exhibition in a world-class museum.”

Though commence for most titillating 33 months, Studio 54 symbolized the druggy, debaucherous heyday of the disco era, with a who’s who of celebrities — from Diana Ross and Andy Warhol to Sylvester Stallone and an underage Brooke Shields — whisking past the velvet rope of the Midtown mega-membership in their model designer duds.

Amongst the designers with their fabulous classic fashions on existing are Halston, Yves Saint Laurent and Norma Kamali, who is accountable for one of Schrager’s accepted artifacts within the existing: the Studio 54 jeans, with a ’54’ stitched on the again pocket within the shape of the membership’s logo. “The selling marketing and marketing campaign acknowledged ‘Now each person can web into Studio 54,’” acknowledged Schrager. “I possess in thoughts that the mannequin didn’t possess any underwear on [as he was putting on his jeans] within the photograph, which was as soon as a very risqué thing to discontinuance at that time.” Nonetheless again then, “rather a pair of of us didn’t wear underwear beneath their jeans.”

Schrager’s a amount of deepest memorabilia within the existing involves his handwritten industry diary from Studio 54 and the typewritten guest list from opening night time with “rather a pair of names that had been huge-time celebrities … All people that was as soon as in city was as soon as there. All people.”

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The serene Studio 54 existing on the Brooklyn Museum.

Annie Wermiel/NY Put up

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There was as soon as one graceful fundamental one who left Schrager particularly starstruck. “Tense to imagine, it was as soon as Vladimir Horowitz, that big classical pianist,” he acknowledged. “And he ragged to advance again to the membership with earplugs on. It was as soon as exact sudden to possess the form of dapper, foreign person admire him soundless would favor to advance again and take into legend what was as soon as occurring.

“It exact shows you how great Studio resonated with each person, from all walks of life … All of those a amount of varieties of of us exact created this combustible energy.”

Schrager acknowledged the membership’s “something goes” Halloween parties had been his accepted. “All people got right here in with basically the most contemporary, fantastical outfits and if truth be told fully changed the put into something else,” he acknowledged. “We had been exact making an try to transfer of us to a serene fact.”

There was as soon as customarily additionally some dismay for Schrager, who acted as “the producer of the evening” whereas Rubell was as soon as “the host of the party.” One annoying 2d came about on the New Year’s Eve party when Grace Jones performed to ring in 1978. “We had been all packed in a huge sardine can,” he acknowledged. “And she was as soon as two and a half hours late inserting on the existing. The existing went on spherical 3 a.m.”

Whereas Schrager is soundless “very embarrassed” about his and Rubell’s tax evasion conviction that led Studio 54 to discontinuance in February 1980, he’s “very proud” of the membership’s legacy. And he wishes that Rubell — who died from AIDS in 1989 — was as soon as right here to search info from the Brooklyn Museum’s occasion of the “Evening Magic” they made collectively.

“He’d most seemingly be accessible handing out cigars, admire it’s a serene child cramped one,” acknowledged Schrager. “He would feel complete redemption and be fully fully chuffed.”

“Studio 54: Evening Magic” on the Brooklyn Museum runs thru Nov. 8, 2020. 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights; BrooklynMuseum.org

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Dustin Pittman’s photograph of the stroke of hour of darkness at Studio 54, 1978-79.

Dustin Pittman

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Artist Andy Warhol’s “Studio 54” acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen.

2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Dustin Pittman’s 1979 photograph “Red Balloons.”

Dustin Pittman

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Mannequin Pat Cleveland on the dance floor for the length of Halston’s 1977 disco bash at Studio 54.

Man Marineau / WWD / Shutterstock

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Richard Bernstein’s 1979 portrait of Studio 54 co-founder Steve Rubell.

The Estate of Richard Bernstein

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Anton Perich’s 1978 photograph of Karen Bjornson at Studio 54.

Anton Perich

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Richard Bernstein’s 1978 portrait of actress Mariel Hemingway.

The Estate of Richard Bernstein

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Yves Saint Laurent’s Chinese language-inspired sketch, dedicated to “Steve,” from 1978.

Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

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Anchor Hocking Glass Company’s cocktail glass, within the “Manhattan” sample, circa 1938-41.

Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

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