Studio 54 Fashion: The Most Iconic Looks From the Legendary Nightclub

We're taking a trip back to the 1970s

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Just come on down to 54. If you are a fan of the 1970s and the iconic style that went with it, then you already know more than enough about the legendary nightclub that is Studio 54. The spot that everybody who was "somebody" had to be. The place to dance, laugh, and act wild while you jammed out to the likes of Earth, Wind, & Fire while looking like a cross between Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Yoko Ono. Studio 54 created a legacy that has surpassed the amount of time that they were even officially in business, and it's safe to say that no other club has had the influence of 54. It's been name dropped repeatedly, there have been quite a few documentaries done on it, and we're willing to bet money that at some point you will probably see a full-length feature film on the big screen documenting the clubs rise and fall. Needless to say, the fashion in 54 was to die for. Everybody looked their glittery, sharp, and very much-1970s best-self, and that's why we're taking a look at the topic that is Studio 54 fashion along with its most legendary looks.

Sit back, grab a glass of wine, and play some Donna Summer as we travel back through the time.

RELATED: Fashion on Film: The Disco Fever Style of the 1970s

What Was Studio 54?

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Why Studio 54 was the most legendary night club ever baby! Located in Midtown Manhattan on 254 West 54th Street, you could only get in if you were hand selected and the requirements were strict. If you think the bouncers at the clubs are rigid now, they had nothing on the security at 54. The only people who got in automatically were celebrities, and as we said earlier, every major celebrity of that era got in V.I.P.—if you didn't get in, well you weren't quite famous enough. The disco balls lit the place up, the music was poppin', and some wild activities went on there as well, but we aren't going to get into that.

The History of Studio 54

Fast forward to the year 1976, where a German model by the name of Uva Harden enters the picture. With an interest in establishing a nightclub in the NYC area, Harden and his business partner Yoram Polany agreed to takeover the CBS Studio, calling it Studio 54 because of its location on 54th street in Midtown Manhattan. From there, an extensive remodel process began on the club, which included spending $400,000 on the transformation which included a dance floor, disco booth, balcony, poles with flashing lights, mirrors, and floating vinyl platforms.

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The goal of Studio 54 was to be a funkadelic fresh hypnotic experience that would take you to another dimension. To further achieve this, a special effect rigging system was installed to generate effects such as confetti, fog, snow, and different types of weather. A cyclorama was installed on the ceiling to project different galaxies, along with a back lit moon and spoon designed by the aero graphics team, which would go on to become the official studio 54 logo. Additional decorations included depictions of volcanoes, sunrises and sunsets. 

Studio 54 opened its doors on April 26th, 1977 at the height of the disco music era, with its popularity growing with each month as more checked out the scene to see what the hoopla was about. Attention on the club surged even more after Bianca Jagger was pictured partying the night away, as nightly averages were around 2,000 guests a night. Despite only being open Tuesday through Saturdays, Studio 54 was massively successful in its first year of operation, making roughly $7 million in profits. The success would continue through the following year.

While the ending of Studio 54’s prime was messy (it ended with tax evasion and arrests), the club did provide some of epic style moments. Here’s 15 of our favorites.

1. The Gogo Girls

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The razzling dazzling Gogo Girls. For those that don’t know, Gogo Girls were club dancers who wore outfits that at times could be considered “scandalous.” While we wholeheartedly disagree with the 1970s defined as “scantily clad,” the glittery metallic outfits that the girls wore were very fashionable, and paved the way for the futuristic style that would become popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

2. Bianca Jagger

3. Diana Ross

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Here you can see Diana Ross having the time of her life while engaging in the limbo. The jeans and tank top combo was a rare casual style moment from Diana Ross' The Boss, as she was normally known for her extravagant glittery dresses and jumpsuits. 

4. Michael Jackson

5. Andy Warhol, Brooke Shields, and Calvin Klein

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We weren’t kidding when we said that Studio 54 only let in the best of the best. While you can only see the top half of their outfits, that’s all you really need as it shows you just how much people got glammed up to go party. While the ending of Studio 54’s prime was in the late 70s, the parties still continued on into the early 1980s, as this picture was taken circa 1981.

6. Grace Jones

7. Liz Taylor

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Liz Taylor got her party on at Studio 54 too, celebrating her 46th birthday in a shimmery jumpsuit with the iconic designer Halston (who we assume was the one that designed her birthday outfit). It’s a shame that some of these pictures weren’t in color because we honestly do know if this dress was gold or silver. With that being said, it’s Liz Taylor, so we’re sure she shut the party down in a way that only she could. 

8. Sylvester Stallone

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Wanna see a young Sylvester Stallone just partying and having a good time? Well, here’s a young Sylvester Stallone in a nice suit just partying and having a good time. This picture was taken in 1978, which would make this roughly two years after the release of the first Rocky.

9. Random Clubgoers

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It’s important to note that it wasn’t just the celebrities that pulled up to Studio 54 in their finest outfits, but random clubbers as well. In fact, some clubbers were dressed more extravagantly than the celebs because as we mentioned before, celebrities were automatically let in, whereas the clubbers were held to extremely high standards. You can see some of their outfits in the picture above.

10. Bianca Jagger, Halston, and Liza Minelli

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Another appearance from Bianca Jagger and Halston, who were dressed in formal attire alongside Liza Minelli, who was also a frequent visitor to Studio 54.

11. Mick Jagger

12. Olivia Newton John

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Apparently Grease had a special premiere of Grease at Studio 54, which we have to imagine was beyond lit. Here you can see Olivia wearing a red satin blouse with blue satin pants to match.

13. Gilda Radner

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Actress and comedian Gilda Radner gave us something a little different upon her visit to 54 with the overall and t-shirt combo. Hey, it worked because she blended right on it with the rest of the crowd.

14. Margaret Trudeau

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It’s quite cool seeing Margaret Trudeau in her party days, and this outfit was spectacular. We can only imagine how it looked amongst all the special effects and designs in the club.

15. Farrah Fawcett

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Farrah Fawcett being…Farrah Fawcett.

16. Grace Jones

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Grace Jones being extravagant as always.

17. The Oh So Popular Masks

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Masks and costumes were very much a thing too, as evidenced by Bethann Hardison, Daniela Morera, and Stephen Burrows at Studio 54 party for Valentino back in 1977.

18. The Animals Were Fashionable Too

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It was not uncommon to see animals (in particular horses) making an appearance at Studio 54, and they were decked to the nines as well. This is Dolly Parton petting one by the way.

19. Liza Minnelli in Sheer Glitter

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Sheer and glitter were the automatic go-to looks at 54 back in the 70s, which you can see Liza Minnelli doing perfectly which she attended the club again in May 1979.

20. Gilda Radner

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And Gilda Radner wearing pink overalls over top of a glittery shirt is peak Studio 54. It doesn't get any better than that.

Shop the Studio 54 look:

So as you can see, Studio 54 was fire, and the best thing about it is that everybody genuinely had a good time. There were no phones and social media to document every moment, people just lived, laughed, and partied. Hopefully one of these days we can get back to that.

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