The 24-year-old goth party girl and creator of Dances of Vice shares her exotic week and style tips.
Mon Feb 8 2010
Dances of Vice parties are romantic pastiches of dark rococo, neo-Victoriana, steampunk and 1920s aesthetics, and bring together countless performers, from goth cello-rockers Rasputina to jazz bands and burlesque dancers. Shien Lee, DoV’s orchestrator, loves clothes so much that she has boxes, racks and a wall full of hats monopolizing most of her Harlem apartment. “People dress so casually nowadays,” Lee sighs. She’ll ponder the style of yesteryear at the “Night & Day” exhibit (Museum at FIT, Seventh Ave at 27th St; 212-217-4558; through May 11, free), which unveils a series of gowns worn over the past 250 years and chronicles the evolution of women’s fashion.
Kiss to be clever and dance
Disko Nouveaux (200 Orchard, 200 Orchard St between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-253-7000, myspace.com/diskonouveaux; 10pm; in dress code or with flyer $5, without $7) is Lee’s newest project—it’s been described as DoV’s sexy little sister—and features a V-Day-apropos Kissing to Be Clever theme tonight. DJs Purevile, Michael T, Miz Margo and Frankie Teardrop spin new-wave and glam tracks (expect to hear a fair share of Brian Eno, David Bowie and Depeche Mode). “There’s an incredible energy at Disko,” says Lee. “Everyone looks so otherworldly.” Her fashion tip? Try to channel a neon geisha, Vivienne Westwood or a silent movie diva.
All aboard for Valentine’s Eve
“Dances of Vice started as a way for my friends and I to hang out, look good and dance,” says Lee. Tonight, the party dons a flirty life jacket for Secrets de Coquettes: A Romantic Jazz Age Valentine’s Day Cruise, which Lee hosts on a luxury ship called the Jewel (Marco Polo Cruises, board at E 23rd St and FDR Dr; dancesofvice.com; departs at 10pm; $26--$30). The three-hour affair features love songs by Shanghai Mermaid’s Juliette Campbell and a pinup-inspired fashion show. Everyone is required to come in costume, whether it’s belle epoque or modern formal wear. “There is no such thing as being overdressed,” Lee says with a grin.
The Tiger dresses up
Lee plans to ring in the Chinese New Year (the Tiger rises!) by singing Chinese jazz at Gemini & Scorpio’s Vault of Golden Vapors (Brooklyn Urban Sanctuary, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; visit geminiandscorpio.com to R.S.V.P. and for the address; 7pm, $10--$40). The Sanctuary will be transformed into an opulent opium den; sip lychee martinis ($8) and nibble on dim sum.
Shopping and fondue
If you ever wanted to amp up your workweek uniform with a horsehair wig or a riding crop with a concealed knife in it, Lee suggests browsing around Obscura Antiques & Oddities (280 E 10th St between First Ave and Ave A, 212-505-9251). Once she secures her treasures, Lee and her fashionable friends head over to the Bourgeois Pig (111 E 7th St between First Ave and Ave A, 212-475-2246) and order a pot of fondue. “It’s enough to make four people full!” she says.
Chinese New Year, check. V-Day, check. But this week isn’t over until Mardi Gras rolls through town—Lee will mark the occasion at the baroque Duane Park (157 Duane St between Broadway and Hudson St; 212-732-5555, duaneparknyc.com) with a three-course, NOLA-inspired meal—try the saffron-crawfish risotto and a classic Mardi Gras King Cake off the prix-fixe menu ($40).
Lee adores the Victorian pieces in the Frick Collection (1 E 70th St at Fifth Ave; 212-288-0700; $5--$18), like Franois Boucher’s The Arts and Sciences: Singing and Dancing. After taking in the artwork, she’ll hit up Caf Reggio (119 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts, 212-475-9557) and allow charming visions of en vogue decades past to envelop her.