Parties: Here's to double vision
Sunday 30 November 2008
Anyone who saw members of the public hurling themselves down plastic chutes at Tate Modern two years ago will know that the tubes' designer, Carsten Höller, has a sense of fun. So it was no surprise to find the installation artist's latest project – the conversion of an abandoned Victorian warehouse in Islington into a Congolese restaurant/club for six months – drawing crowds of eager thrill-seekers on its opening night.
Among those sampling the Congolese beers and bobbing from one darkened room to the next were singers Sharleen Spiteri and Bryan Ferry, while actress Jaime Winstone and boyfriend Alfie Allen were joined by rock progeny Coco Sumner, Sting's daughter, and Natt Weller, son of Paul.
Fashion doyenne Miuccia Prada, whose Prada Foundation is funding the project, co-hosted the night, and was soon showing off the soaring space to fashion designers Oswald Boateng and Alexander McQueen.
Quite why The Double Club is bringing a slice of Kinshasa to north London was never really explained, but the whys and wherefores mattered little by midnight, as fashion designer Pam Hogg broke into an impromptu burst of song to enliven the mood.
Fortunately, the pros soon took over, as Congolese rumba band Africa Jambo struck up a lively set, before dancing moved into the disco room, where Congolese tunes were cut with modern disco numbers and hips swayed on the revolving circular dance floor. But is it art? I think we should be told.
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