Shien Lee

The 24-year-old goth party girl and creator of Dances of Vice shares her exotic week and style tips.

  • Shien Lee

  • "Night & Day" exhibit

  • Disko Nouveaux

  • Shien Lee

  • Dances of Vice

  • The Arts and Sciences: Singing and Dancing, 1750-1752

Shien Lee

Thursday 11

Not-so-fast fashion
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.

Friday 12

Kiss to be clever and dance
Disko Nouveaux (200 Orchard, 200 Orchard St between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-253-7000,; 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.

Saturday 13

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;; 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.

Sunday 14

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 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.

Monday 15

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.

Tuesday 16

Mardi Gras
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, 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).

Wednesday 17

Antique art
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.


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