Party + Glitterati – The Paris Edition

London and New York have The Box. You know it, whether you’ve been through its mysterious doors or not. The hype has been impressive.
Delicately billed as a ‘Theatre of Varieties’ – what it really consists of is a place exclusive enough to get away with the things that other clubs would love to, but can’t attempt. A world of sado-masochistic burlesque performances, full-frontal nudity and everything dusted with a liberal shower of cocaine. Naturally, it is a favourite among London’s gin-guzzling Glitterati (from which you can infer Kate Moss, Mark Ronson and, of course, model-of-the-moment Cara Delevigne), which means, obviously, that the Daily Mail openly hates it, but won’t shut up about it. Lovely.

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Well, as is often the case, Paris did it first. Say what you want about the French (or don’t, because what’s up with pointless xenophobia?!), but they sure do have a firm grasp of “le cool”. A nation that is reliably less prudish about open sexuality and ten times more obsessed with cliques, Class As and Haute-Couture, their party culture has, arguably, always had a bit more “flavour” than ours. They just don’t have a keen Daily Mail reporter on retainer to generate loads of guff about the latest celebrity to fall out of their doors with her pants down.

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Club Sandwich, conceived in 2005 by the duo Marc Zaffuto and Emmanuel D’Orazio, is exactly this. It’s the box on steroids, with a shit-tonne more glitter.

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Forget Moss and Delevigne. They might (allegedly) love a bit of charley, but they’re relatively tame. Club Sandwich is frequented by the much weirder, but altogether more entertaining likes of Lady Gaga, Vogue’s Anna Dello Russo, Beth Ditto, with the odd cameo from the lady of bottomly-perfection herself, Kylie Minogue.

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This is the sort of night that doesn’t happen very often, but as soon as the next theme is announced, the fun and the fabulous start booking makeup artists and calling their personal shoppers to trawl through the latest from the big designers.

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Getting in is pretty hard, as you can imagine, but once you’re past the doors, the circus-like world within is worth the trip. Despite the staggering number of drag-queens and effete young men in leather hot-pants, I wouldn’t really call it a gay place, so much as pan-sexual. Gay, straight, man, woman, androgynous, ambiguous…everyone’s getting off with everyone. It is highly encouraged. And for the vaguely or even mostly straight men, there are often plenty of lithe, beautiful and entirely nude women draping themselves over banisters or casually swaying away to the beat in nothing but a sequinned head-piece.

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Cutting to the chase, we tracked down Club Sandwich resident DJ – Florian Sailer – to have a little chat about the Parisian music scene, Gaga and the odd dead octopus.

Club Sandwich has a reputation for flamboyant exuberance. What can people expect from a Club Sandwich Party?

“A totally crazy experience of partying, meeting people from across the world and, of course, some astonishing performances!”
“But as you may know the last Club Sandwich Party was on the 28th of June … Watch this space for the next one…”

Most of these sorts of affairs are pretty invite-only. How does one become a Club Sandwich darling?

“You just have to be totally and uniquely fabulous…” He makes it sound so easy…

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What is the most bizarre scene you have ever witnessed at a party you’ve been DJing at?

“A Club Sandwich kid naked with a dead, seriously stinky octopus (was an aquatic theme).” Seems sensible, no?

Have you ever had any funny requests?

“Lady Gaga asking me : ‘Can you maybe play my song ?’ In a very sweet way..”

Paris has an interesting music scene. It is certainly at the forefront of new minimal music. But also, there seems to have been a big disco revival. What do you think influences Paris’s music trends?

“Paris music trends are multifarious. Of course, the French touch wave was born in Paris, but went worldwide quickly. There is actually a big mainstream music audience here, but a lot of underground music groups pop up in the Capitale de la mode.”
“The fashion scene is here very into cold, minimal house or into happy disco-house music – that’s what you’ll find at Club Sandwich or Bizarre Love Triangle, but head on down to Le Baron during Ragazzo parties, where the young French cinema scene meets the crazy fashion kids and you’re likely to hear the full range of 80s hits.”
Having been to Le Baron myself, I can confirm that this is true. I spent the night bopping around to De La Soul while a bloke in a crop top and wayfarers waved his arms in my general direction. Surreal, but enjoyable.

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What about your sets?

“I’m a happy DJ. My main aim is just to put people in a good mood. So, I avoid tracks that are too minimal, as this can get a bit soul-crushing. I also like to play with today’s edits of the 70s oldies. Throw some bass in it.”

You also have your own night, Purple Noon, which you’ve taken to New York and St Tropez. Actually, you’re just back from St Tropez – what were you getting up to?

“Preparing the new season at “Le Bar”, which is a new night for ‘Le Bristol Paris.’
It’s a new step in my work, I have been asked to do the art direction for this new, luxury cocktail and wine bar. Great place for a late aperitivo and once a week it opens until 4am.”

If you could be offered a residency anywhere in the world, where would you pick?

Los Angeles or Rio

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If you could be reborn as anyone else in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?

“Gina Lollobrigida.” A beautiful Italian 50s screen-siren, in case you didn’t know. A weird aspiration, admittedly, but a cool one.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be?

“Can I be a bird? You didn’t specify that I had to be human.”

Items that you can’t leave the house without?

“Computer, headphones, condom.”

What three things that make for a good DJ?

1) A good track selection, obviously.
2) A love for people
3) Style

Check out these weird, but wonderful sneak peek of life behind the Club Sandwich doors…

Club Sandwich at Halloween:

Club Sandwich – ‘Cuir’ (leather)

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