West Village model Karen Rempel takes flight in sequins near drag karaoke bar PIECES on Christopher Street. Photo by Philip Maier.

By Karen Rempel 

I looked at dozens of apartments in the Village in 2017 when I was searching for my dream New York home. One of my favorite apartment viewing experiences was a co-op with loft bed that caught my eye on StreetEasy because it had a vintage chocolate poster on the living room wall. When I viewed the charming apartment on West 10th Street, I was a little hungover from dancing and partying with my designer friend Michelle Runden at PIECES Bar the night before. But it was a sunny Sunday morning, and I kept my appointment to view the apartment. The current owner had an elegant drinks cart with a sparkling silver high-heeled pump on it. I was more than intrigued, and I soon discovered that the Cinderella behind this single shoe was a drag performer whom I’d seen the night before at PIECES! What a delightful coincidence! It affirmed my decision to move to New York City. I was dialed in!

So when my friend Dorothy Bishop, the incredibly talented star of the hilarious Dozen Divas show, gave me this elegant sequined dress from her drag queen friend, I immediately thought of wearing it in a shoot at PIECES on Christopher Street. Phil was amenable, and we got to the location just before they started setting up outdoor tables for brunch. But the iconic PIECES window cast too much glare, so we moved a dozen yards east to a dingy doorway marked Private Property. I cannot believe how perfect the mottled colors of the wall were with the tones of the dress. Magical art! I felt like I was flying. Of course, these incredible Kurt Geiger gem-embedded platform boots would make any drag queen feel like she’s flying! Fun times in the pandemic.

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Style Notes

Kurt Geiger London black velvet, gem-embedded platform boots. Designer Shoe Warehouse. 40 East 14th Street.

A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz glamorous sequined drag queen dress. Gift from a friend.

Estetica Pure Stretch Cap wig. Gift from a friend.

Dangly hoop earrings with apricot and peach beads. Gift from a friend.

Metallic cuff bracelet. Street vendor on Sixth Avenue.

“Sin” MAC lipstick and “Big Apple Red” OPI nail lacquer. Drag queen makeup inspired by Miss Fame.

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