We went behind the scenes of the Studio 54-themed photo shoot, in support of the Boobyball benefit for Rethink Breast Cancer. Tickets for the October 16 benefit went on sale today! Buy yours at www.boobyball.com
Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.
Rethink Breast Cancer recently organized a photo shoot for its upcoming Boobyball benefit in Bavette, the soon-to-be-opened resto lounge underneath Marben on Wellington Street.
Nothing out of the ordinary there, you might think. Except that this shoot’s theme was Studio 54, that iconic playground of the ascendant, the turbulent and the spiraling-out, where fame and the pursuit of indulgence mingled on a disco-infused dancefloor and drifted through lounges populated by Birkin, Halston and Minnelli alongside scores of young hopefuls.
Over seven hours, a slate of talented local photographers—including Jalani Morgan and Babar Khan—snapped models and industry volunteers who got into the ’70s Manhattan spirit.
Check out our behind-the-scenes pics!
The day was a marathon of flash and verve. Colourful drinks materialized from the bar which acted as both prop and perk, while the hair and makeup talents of Judy Inc. kept things from getting droopy.
DJ Catalist, in impressive white flares, kept up a steady soundtrack of period vinyl, pitting trusted standards (like James Brown’s maddeningly tense “Ain’t It Funky Now”) against hopeless obscurities (“Somebody’s Watching You” by Little Sister, anyone?).
As photographer Jalani Morgan encouraged his subjects to “Think Off The Wall Michael Jackson”, April, a vivacious real-life publicist in an emerald hooded dress—and an uncanny resemblance to Bianca Jagger at her infamous Studio 54 birthday bash—perched on one end of a ruby red settee. At the other, a doppelganger for Lauren Hutton circa 1978 wearing leopard print leggings chatted with a regular in a white blazer and bow-tie, who was also entertaining a New Hollywood-era starlet. In-between: a ferociously chic Warhol muse in a paisley gown.
Photographer Jalani Morgan.
The scene could easily have become repetitive, but the photographers weren’t allowing it. Steve Carty orchestrated an album cover-perfect parade of discotheque sirens which required organization of almost military proportions. Jalani Morgan opted to break it all down in order to create casual lounge scenes populated by flirts, cads, good-timers, schmoozers and show-offs, poking his lens unnoticed into some forgotten corner of the 54.
And Babar Khan staged charged vignettes of nightlife decadence and in-crowd cool which drifted across the boundaries of their historical context.
Shameless revivalism? Why not? It worked brilliantly, and for a fabulous cause.
Below, more behind-the-scenes snaps from the shoot.
Check out more looks we liked in our Well Played section!