PARISIAN CLUBS 1970-1980

“The light diffracted in a prism is the symbol of the 80’s, whereas in the 70’s we were talking more about shadow. Here we are splashed with multicoloured rays that drip onto white dinner jackets like vanilla in a whisky and coke.” Alain Pacadis, Nightdealing, Libération, 24 octobre 1979.

After May 68, intellectuals and artists, driven by social and political struggles, rediscovered the pleasure of partying. In a few places on the right bank those who doesn’t want to sleep meet up. First at the Club 7 bar, then at the Bains-Douches or in the Palace basement. There, people coming from the worlds of fashion, literature and communication crossed paths : Yves Saint Laurent, always wearing a Caraceni tuxedo, Kenzo Takada or Thierry Mugler exchanged ideas with Rolland Barthes, Aragon and Frédéric Mitterrand .

They are the ones who launched the new dances as well as the new fashions that would be copied by all the designers 6 months later . They chose suits with extravagant lapels that they wore both during the day at work and at night to go clubbing. Schott One Star perfectos mixed with mohair suits and grosgrain cocktail jackets. Snobs, they rejected the mainstream culture of the 70s, dressed retro and bought their Sixties style suits at Anoushka in the Montreuil flea market. These parties, immortalized through the lens of Philippe Morillon and the duo Pierre et Gilles, were published in the magazine Façade.

The initiatory journey is well known:

THE CLUB 7

7, rue Sainte-Anne, open every day of the week from 11pm to 4am, consumption: 35 Francs. One has to ring in front of a black door to enter a luxurious restaurant and a gay club in the basement. The black painted walls are covered with mirrors and the ceilings are lined with multicoloured neon lights. Monday and Tuesday are the best days to go and be certain to bump into the owner Fabrice Emaer. The music is at first disco and gets more and more jazzy as the night goes on. The clientele is always very chic: jeans and Sacha-style t-shirts or classic suits. When leaving the Opera, the restaurant’s regulars come to dine still wearing their dinner jackets.

THE PALACE

8, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11pm to 6am, entrance fee: 50 Francs, includes one drink. The decor is that of a former Art Deco theatre from 1921. The decor is that of a former Art Deco theatre from 1921. A Venetian palace in ruins where Greek plaster columns stand alongside lasers, neon lights and a disco ball. The club retains its falsely naive frescoes and mouldings of postichous antiques statues. There is no search for unity of style in the decoration. The lower room is called the Privilege. It is decorated by Gerard Garoust and is only open on Friday and Saturday nights – reserved for the most famous clients. Disco music, but also a lot of New Wave. The dress style reflects the place: baroque and modern. Dinner jackets are mandatory in the downstairs room, while the upstairs room has a mismatched, composite style. At the end of the evening, the artists and intellectuals from the basement come up to the main room in search of novelty and excess.

THE BAINS DOUCHES

6, rue du Bourg de l’Abbé, open Thursday to Sunday from 11pm to 6am, consumption: 50 Francs. Opened in December 1978. Paintings by David Rocheline in the corridors at the entrance, neon lighting by Stark, a wall of earthenware tiles on which multicoloured lasers scatter.

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. Le Palace, rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris, France. 1978. 

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. PACADIS, Alain. 1977. 

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. ROTHSCHILD, Marie-Hélène. SAINT LAURENT, Yves. 1979. 

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. BELMORE, Edwige. Le Sept, rue Saint-Anne, Paris, France. 1979. 

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. COX, Madison. GREGGORY, Pascal. Les Bains Douches, rue du Bourg-l’Abbé, Paris, France. 1978.

MORILLON, Philippe, phot. SANCHEZ, Violeta. MAÎTRE, Jean Luc. Les Bains Douches, rue du Bourg-l’Abbé, Paris, France. 1978.

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