A costume party without a holiday fulcrum is tricky. But last Wednesday, there was a 1970s-themed shindig at a new lounge on Chrystie Street called Et Al. Guests in floral scarves and tie-dyes grooved to “Ring My Bell,” as light ricocheted off the disco ball, alongside more contemporary patrons in chokers and high-waisted stonewashed denim.
“You always reflect back to Studio 54 and how do you bring it back,” said Gerard Maione, an owner of What Goes Around Comes Around, a vintage boutique in SoHo that hosts the party and lends revelers period-appropriate clothing. “You want people to feel good about going out and expressing themselves. The masses don’t understand my inventory.”
Once occupied by Experimental Cocktail Club, the two-room bar sits aside the Box, a burlesque theater whose patrons clog the sidewalk, and faces Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The interior is schizophrenic: The monochromatic bar area features a space-age polygonal light, and a lounge section has a living room’s layout with plush armchairs, patterned curtains and plants.
Fashion types in shredded jeans and faded Harley-Davidson tees, 9-to-5ers in plaid, and loyalists from Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, where Damion Luaiye, an owner of Et Al, was creative director. Skewing older (30s and up), the crowd dwindles while much of the Lower East Side is hours from losing its cellphone and vomiting in a Juno. “I hate clubs and I hate going out,” said Amy Hood, a model and erotic artist who attended Wednesday’s party. “This is hospitable.”
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