If I could go back in time for just 24 hours, I'd pick a Friday in the late '70s. My first order of business would be to buy a cheap apartment somewhere downtown, like in the "slums" of SoHo. Next, I'd go shopping, pick up a classic Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress and maybe a little Halston backless number, so that I'd be looking stellar for the main event: my legends of nightlife crawl.
I'd start at the Mudd Club, perhaps buy some postcard artwork from fellow revelers Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. After soaking that place up, I'd head over to disco ground zero, Studio 54. My goal would be to dance wildly under the infamous Man in the Moon (with a coke spoon) and, ideally, to catch Grace Jones perform live. My time travels would end with me—delirious from booty shaking, my strappy sandals off—passed out on a leather sofa, while the cleaning staff vacuum around me. Divine. Until I figure out how to make that happen (anybody know a genie in a bottle?), I'll have to be content to simply dress the part. It's easy this fall—disco is back, and I couldn't be happier, especially since this is not the tacky polyester and platform-clown-shoes stuff but high-glamour early '80s disco. Think shoulder pads, sequins, draped jersey and metallic leather—jet-set Bianca Jagger or Paloma Picasso rich-bitch-at-the-disco fashion.
Pictured: Faux Leather Disco Bangle ($14.80 at Forever21.com), Gryphon Sequin Tunic ($418 at ChickDowntown.com) and Melie Bianco Oversized Multi Sequins Clutch ($53 at Endless.com)
See It Now
If there is a poster child for the current jet-set disco look (and sound), it has to be the fabulous Lady Gaga. She's so international now, she's even playing sold-out shows in the casinos of Macau. Her looks border on masquerade, and her hair accessories remind me a little bit of the late London fashion icon Isabella Blow (if she had a naughty disco diva daughter).
With Lady G, it's less about any one piece she's wearing and more about her attitude, which is a key element of getting this look to really work (so practice an icy glare in the mirror). Gucci has been a major proponent of rich-bitch disco glam. In fact, it seems to me they started this sleek, severe, goddess-of-the-night look and never really abandoned it.
Early Tom Ford designs went there in a minimalist way: always black, very sexy mini shifts or slim-cut tuxedo jackets with ridiculously high heels—where else could you promenade and pose in these except at a nightclub? The fall 2009 Gucci collection continues the legacy with a chic jumpsuit with tapered legs in a dark chocolate brown that I think might actually make me look taller. This could be a pipe dream, but I love that jumpsuits are back, even though they are a royal pain when you have to go to the bathroom. If you've been indulging in one-piece rompers, which have been all the rage this summer, you know what I mean.