A significant chunk of the inspiration behind the creation of the Club Whispers Lifestyle Clubs, is the world renowned Studio 54, the legendary New York nightclub that defined an era. It has since become synonymous with the glamour and excess of the late Seventies.
With the fierce determination to deliver legendary parties week in and week out, we have studied what made Studio 54 and other world class night clubs so successful and we plan to follow certain of their ingredients at Club Whispers.
THE COOLEST PLACE ON EARTH
In the late Seventies, Studio 54 was probably the coolest place on Earth. It was started by the socialites and entrepreneurs Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.
The building which housed Studio 54, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan had originally been a theatre, which made for an impressive party space. When the New York State Liquor Authority raided the premises a month after it opened, for selling unlicensed alcohol, its reputation for glamour only increased.
Regular visitors included Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, Cher, John Travolta, Tina Turner, Elton John and Salvador Dali plus many more too numerous to list.
"The place was like nothing I'd ever seen before," photographer Tod Papageorge recalls. "It was an extraordinary situation. People around me were going crazy, basically, and I was trying to be passionate but remain cool enough to take pictures that would be clear and compelling."
THE POWER OF MUSIC & PEOPLE
"To me, mostly it was the people that set the scene," says Papageorge, "along with that throbbing disco beat, there were a lot of very beautiful and well-dressed people, particularly the women."
Indeed, Studio 54 was one of the most inaccessible nightclubs in the world. According to Papageorge, the owners wanted a "salad" of people in the club, comprising a mixture of the rich, famous, young and beautiful.
The doormen were charged with creating this combination, and they subjected every aspiring clubber to rigorous scrutiny. According to Papageorge, this was a "drawn out and difficult" process. "People would wait outside for hours," he says, "waiting to be judged.
By some standards only known by the doormen, it was decided who would get into the club."
Once inside, however, everybody was equal. As Andy Warhol famously said: "The key of the success of Studio 54 is that it's a dictatorship at the door and a democracy on the dance floor."