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This dapper gent can be found at vintage New York events around the city, including burlesque shows, and throwback parties thrown by Wit’s End and Dances of Vice. Wherever you find him, you can be assured that he’ll be stylish and witty—in short, a true dandy.
RECOMMENDED: All vintage New York coverageDandy Wellington, 28, Harlem; producer, performer and stylist (dandywellington.com)
How did you get involved with retro party planners in NYC?
I’ve been performing all my life; I did theater for years. I started producing events and nights in the New York City club scene, then I was introduced to the vintage scene by my friend Gin Minsky and eventually started producing events there.
Who or what inspires you?
New York has always been an inspiration to me. I grew up in Harlem, in a brownstone that was filled with art and books about the history of not just African-Americans in this country, but great people in general. I watched Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Cab Calloway and Sammy Davis Jr., and listened to Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson. I’m an only child, but they’re my brothers and sisters. It’s nice to visit with them every day, and pay homage to them in the best ways that I can. [In performances] I use a lot of songs about Harlem, that are written by people who lived and worked in Harlem. That’s really important to me.
Where do you like to drink and shop?
I tend to do what I call “the circuit.” I start or end at the Smith (55 Third Ave between 10th and 11th Sts, thesmithnyc.com) and have a drink and hang out. I go to Ladies and Gentlemen (338 E 11th St between First and Second Aves; 212-673-3904, ladiesandgentlemennyc.com). I get lots of hats at Fabulous Fanny’s (335 E 9th St between First and Second Aves; 212-533-0637). Most of my cufflinks, tie bars, collar bars and other jewelry was acquired at Archangel Antiques (334 E 9th St between First and Second Aves; 212-260-9313, archangelantiques.com), Cobblestones (314 E 9th St between First and Second Aves), a lot of vintage places and some consignment places. The red jacket I wore in the shoot is custom-made by Against Nature (159 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts; 212-228-4552, againstnaturenyc.com).
What have been some of your favorite events that you’ve worked on?
I just recently started Tuesday Night Social at Hotel Chantelle (92 Ludlow St between Broome and Delancey Sts; 212-254-9100, hotelchantelle.com; Tue 8pm–midnight). It’s an old-time social, with really quality food and entertainment. A social for me is any gathering of people, but what makes this unique is that people enjoy dressing up. A bunch of producers—Gin Minksy of the Minsky Sisters, Jezebel Express, Gelber and Manning—and I had been working on the Champagne Riot, a stage show that’s really based on the talent. Right now we’re on hiatus, but it’s been such a dream to work with these producers. We had some of the greatest burlesque, vaudeville and sideshow performers ever.
What are your favorite venues in NYC?
The venues that I work at are the venues that I frequent, including Macao Trading Co. (311 Church St between Lispenard and Walker Sts; 212-431-8750, macaonyc.com), Duane Park (308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-732-5555, duaneparknyc.com) and Ella Lounge (9 Ave A between E 1st and 2nd Sts, ellalounge.com).
What defines retro to you?
It is a very old scene. It’s about class, elegance and people taking the time and care to present themselves properly; I think people are drawn to that, besides the music and fashion. I’m really in love with the jazz era and the people.
Next up: “Twilight in Harlem” at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th St; 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org). Sat 11 at 11am; free. • First Annual Boater Ball at Duane Park (308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-732-5555, duaneparknyc.com). Wed 15 at 7:30pm; free with dinner reservation.