All That Glitters
By Fran Tirado
“You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.” - Diana Ross
For the first half of the 1970s, disco was largely an underground scene — think big, fantastical parties in makeshift discothèques down grungy basements and below cellar doors. Inspired by this renegade retro dance movement, we had a vision to host a clandestine glitter-forward gathering.
Several stories underneath an unmarked door in TriBeCa, down three flights of scraggly brick stairs and through a door of metallic streamers we created a fairyland of disco, blue haze, and dance club lights. The dress code: shiny. The raw space, decked out in silver and gold, with a disco ball hanging every square hundred feet or so. We greeted guests with Grey Goose cocktails and hors d'oeuvres by Comparti. DJ TC Milan spun throwback beats by goddesses like Sister Sledge and Donna Summer while guests sipped classic Martinis and elderflower Fizzes.
But let’s discuss the glitter bar because...there was a glitter bar. Our go-to stylist Jessie Weaver set up a colorful selection of speckles and glue (aka hair gel) for guests to bedazzle themselves with while drag artist and Brooklyn-nightlife fixture Charlene Incarnate put on a fierce performance, shimmying in a shiny gown and red glitter lips as everyone yess’d and YAAS’d. There would be more dancing later in the evening, but first: supper.
We led guests to the dining room, which resembled an abandoned subway tunnel, where a very, very golden tablescape awaited them. Chef Lauren Egdahl of Comparti got super playful with the menu, embracing the theme with whimsical presentations. Among her standout courses were a root vegetable disco fries appetizer, a bright pink and bold sunflower seed risotto, and a gorgeous (and delicious) little gem salad with veggies cut into fun shapes.
When dessert rolled around, we delivered Lauren’s tres leches disco ball bites with Grey Goose Espresso Martinis to get guests excited for what would come next. The cocktail area transformed into an underground nightclub, where DJ TC Milan and his vocal partner Nicki B Vagabond performed as Crush Club to dancing guests. Charlene made a quick costume change for an encore disco ambush, in which she did, in fact, lip sync Cher’s “Believe” as loud as she could in this raw basement space, and we did, in fact, lose our minds as we sang along as loud as we could in this raw basement space. For just a wonderful moment suspended in time, we recreated the speakeasy disco movement of the ‘70s with boas made from the ceiling streamers and glitter tossed through the darkness, illuminated only by the graceful rotation of those mirrored balls.