Disco Inferno

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It is a hit because it has a high-energy vibe,” said the queen of  disco, Donna Summer, of her super-hit 1977 single “I Feel Love”. The legend passed away in May, but her legacy and the feelgood glamour of disco is stirring our emotions again. Can you feel it? Or, rather, can you feel it?

Disco can be seen as the guilty pleasure in an otherwise serious season, and the soundtrack was thumping back loudest at Meadham Kirchhoff’s imaginary nightclub at London Fashion Week. “The collection was inspired by nightlife and ridiculous extreme glamour; those people who reinvent themselves and become stars of club culture,” says Benjamin Kirchhoff. Cue a catwalk complete with light-up dancefloor, glitter-throwing models and a seat-jamming front row. The clothes sang out: shaggy monster furs, a rainbow of chiffon dresses, sequin bustiers and show-stopping platforms. At its inception, disco was a subversive movement, and this edge is perhaps what’s intriguing designers, not to mention the fact it’s a world full of inspiring, powerful women and a whole lot of fun. Fly girls, bad girls and very hot girls are all welcome. “We asked the models to have fun, be glamorous and really aggressive; we wanted the audience to be in awe of them,” adds Edward Meadham.

Awe goes hand in hand with 2012 disco. There’s a new generation of dress-up divas such as Azealia Banks and Nicki Minaj dominating the airwaves. Erotically charged emerald, purple and red (imagine getting down in Valentino’s lipstick-red jumpsuit) are the hues of choice, while the strobe-friendly allure of Stella McCartney’s golden leisure suit and Michael Kors’s glittering halter-neck gowns are unmissable. Superfly wardrobe essentials also include exuberant chubbies (Mulberry, Moschino and Gucci) and off-beat suiting (Miu Miu’s comes in navy blue suede with mirror discs). Marc Jacobs’s “Huggy Bear” hats and clunky, pearlised platforms certainly have the funk.

Description: For a generation raised on guitar music, disco feels new

For a generation raised on guitar music, disco feels new

With disco foresight, Anya Hindmarch presented a collaboration with Seventies shoe designer Terry de Havilland, whose snakeskin sandals were Bianca Jagger’s Studio 54 go-to. “They are shoes I have fond memories of,” smiles Hindmarch at the vividly colored metallic platforms. “It’s a thrill to bring them back to a new audience, and they look equally good with trousers or midi skirts.”

Make-up is a speedy way to get into the groove, with one magic ingredient: glitter. “Glitter overload was my mantra,” says Kirchhoff, who sketched out the make-up looks for each catwalk diva. “Every look was to be a walking glitter and fluff fetish.” London’s premier party-seekers stock up on budget beauty buys at Pak’s (Pakcosmetics.com). this funky insider’s secret source stocks tinfoil star-shaped hoops, funkadelic hair dyes, glitter lipgloss and sparking hair grips – perfect for adding a disco vibe to a chic, slicked-back ponytail.

Description: Disco devotees in the seventies

Disco devotees in the seventies

Now you have the look, where to go to hit the light fantastic? London’s luminous set heads to the revamped Scotch of St James. The former playground for Swinging London now boasts a light-up dancefloor (with tartan underlay) and DJs – including the fashion designer Pam Hogg and New York’s Disco Stu – spinning in front of a neon sign that says “This DJ sucks” (by the artist Chris Bracey). “for a generation raised on guitar music, disco feels new and, after all, it influences hip-hop, electro, dance and rave,” says E Piers Walker, Scotch’s director. “And there are always new gems floating about out there.”

The groove is being felt internationally, headed by Natasha Lejeune and Amy Sunshine, both glam DJs who’ve spun disco classics and funky mixes for Le Baron’s pop-up in Art Basel Miami Beach and at the Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by the drag balls in Jennie Livingston’s club-scene documentary Paris Is Burning, their slender silhouettes are often seen rocking behind the decks in slash-front one-pieces and glimmering cheongsams.

It feels timely to look to the stylized Seventies; its aesthetic choices pioneered dress-up and decadence, standing out against a bleak economy. (South familiar?) So embrace the revival. As Donna Summer breathily exhaled, “It’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good.”

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