What started as a need for more queer Asian representation in New York nightlife has quickly turned into one of the most fashionable parties in the city. Three years ago Bubble_T was just an underground party scene. Now it’s a movement and home for a large, close-knit community of self-dubbed “Slaysians.”
To ring in the Year of the Rat, Bubble_T returned to its Brooklyn roots by throwing a party called “RAT_ROYAL_T.” Held at Elsewhere in Bushwick, it was a little different from the conventional celebration you’d expect. There were high-concept drag performances, decorations from New York–based artists (Vincent Chong drew calligraphy on giant red scrolls), and festive looks that bridged tradition and the current moment (drag queen Yune Neptune made her own DIY version of a traditional Vietnamese garment).
“Lunar New Year is normally a time where relatives spend time together,” said Bubble_T co-founder and makeup artist Stevie Huynh. “For many of us who live in New York, away from our relatives, it’s important for us to not only hold on to but also recontextualize traditions by celebrating with our chosen family at a space where we can fully be ourselves.”
Director Alexandra Cuerdo, who’s creating a short film about the party called “Dancing on My Own” with VSCO, took photos at the party all night. Keep scrolling to see all the fabulous, glittering, red-and-gold looks.