French nightclubs are Las-Vegas themed affairs, with just as much nudity (and, to an American, a wonderfully alluring Frenchiness) and the requisite palm trees, Grecian columns, and glitzy facades. They trade, to be sure, in juicy sex appeal–at night. In the daytime, not so much.
Photographer François Prost began his series of daytime photographs of nightclubs back in 2009, while biking through Burgundy: “In the parking lot, there was broken glass and ripped flyers from the night before,” Prost told Co.Design in an email. “That [nightclub] instantly reminded me of my teenage years, and seduced me,” he admitted.
Now in his thirties, and with children, Prost says his nightclub days are behind him. So he’s able to see these clubs from the vantage point of age. Photographing the clubs in the daytime, too, strips away the nostalgia for the drunken, nighttime magic that these sorts of places are so good at evoking. The result is a slightly astringent, slightly campy, dose of reality.
Prost tells us that he mostly searched out clubs–in the suburbs of Paris, Lyon, and Belgium–with the most clichéd “nightclubby” feel. His favorite is La Fiesta: “The club was standing in a small industrial zone, the entrance was decorated with red plastic palm trees, the different signs/logos were very ’70s/’80s-orientated, the combination of colors was giving off something charming, and everything seemed so well-crafted. I completely fell in love with it,” he says.