March 1, 2010

All is Vanity: The Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s New Nightclub

Charles Doell calls himself Mr. Important Design—a name as exuberant and outré as his nightclubs and restaurants. For Vanity, a headliner that recently debuted at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Doell went the limit. The club is a phantasmagoria of shiny and sparkly surfaces. Take the canopy above the dance floor: a flamboyantly undulating form aglitter with 20,000 crystals. “Risk-taking is now standard operating procedure for many large players in the hospitality business,” he says. “We completely love that.”

In the women’s restroom, equally spectacular at 2,000 square feet, Doell took the glam boudoir route. Lighting comes from a variety of sources. For close-ups, each sink sprouts its own lamp, complete with shade, while accompanying vanity mirrors boast integral lighting around their octagonal brass frames. Casting an ambient glow from the ceiling is a row of chandeliers, clusters of glass bubbles in mirrored teal or frosted white. Burlesque-red chenille upholsters button-tufted seating. Since a column couldn’t be removed, Doell rounded it by wrapping it in polished brass.

Three fashion photographers provided the wall-size blowups. Rose-gold lips, framing perfectly pearlescent teeth, and an impossibly aqua eye, shimmering with makeup, face off over the sinks. A model pouts down from a wall in the vestibule between the ladies’ and men’s rooms.

Even though the latter is a mere 600 square feet, it gets the star treatment, too. Black faux crocodile tiles the walls around black-tinted concrete counters molded to incorporate curvaceous interconnected sinks rather than a straight trough. And a vintage polished-brass chandelier hangs right in front of another fantasy photomural. This one is of a French maid vacuuming.

Photography by Jeff Dow.

 Miriam Marchevsky; Gui Bez.

Recent Projects