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susanne bartsch in corset by 'the blonds' and animal skull headdress.

susanne bartsch at FIT

underground queen of new york nightlife susanne bartsch is a living legend. she is known for her parties but even more recognized for her outlandish looks, which will be presented at the fashion institute of technology museum this september.

susanne bartsch in a sparkly corset by the blonds.

susanne bartsch in a corset by the blonds, circa 2013. photo by marco ovando

over 80 looks map out her outstanding legacy. when she moved from london to new york in the 80s, she imported her native city’s infamous club scene with her soho boutique, exposing little-known designers like vivienne westwood and john galliano. she pushed this edgy era of fashion when she brought together folks like young marc jacobs and jean paul gaultier at the parties she threw to stage their creations. flouting social and fashion conventions in the name of fun and creativity has been her m.o. ever since.

the exhibit also showcases her philanthropic work. when aids hit her world in the 80s, she responded with the love ball, one of the first and most important aids benefits that helped bring national recognition to not only the disease but to the art of voguing.

susanne bartsch posing atop a yellow taxi, with driver inside the car smiling slightly at camera.


photo by robin souma

susanne and friends posing to the camera at liberty theatre.


susanne wearing a dress by rachel auburn, liberty theatre in times square, 2014.
photo by robin souma

susanne posing for the camera in an all magenta outfit.


susanne bartsch, 1990s. photo by andrea barbiroli

susanne in the chelsea hotel lobby, wearing corset by the blonds.


susanne in the chelsea hotel lobby, wearing corset by the blonds, 2012.
photo by marco ovando

susanne bartsch and crew posing to the camera.


susanne bartsch and crew, 1991. © michael james o'brien

susanne wearing high heels, being carried by françois sagat, both posing for the camera.


susanne and françois sagat in switzerland hosting an AIDS benefit. dress by mathu and zaldy, 2011. © patrick mettraux and lukas beyeler

susanne posing to the camera, 'silence pose'.


susanne at a swiss dance event at the tribeca grand hotel, january 2015.
photo by robin souma

susanne bartsch with gage of the boone at party.


susanne bartsch with gage of the boone, 2013. 
photo © wilsonmodels

susanne in abel villarreal’s leather horse look.


susanne in abel villarreal’s leather horse look, april 1992.
photo by albert sanchez

susanne, onehalf nelson, and erickacouture posing at catwalk at marquee.


susanne, onehalf nelson, and erickacouture at catwalk at marquee, 2013. 
photo by marco ovando

susanne posing with hands at the wall, full body shot.


susanne at the chelsea hotel wearing a look by the blonds, 2015.
photo by steven menendez

susanne wearing look by rick owens, full body shot.


susanne styles a look by rick owens, 2015. photo by robin souma

profile of susanne posing with hand on waist.


susanne bartsch. photo by santiago felipe

susanne wearing a corset by mr pearl, full body shot.


susanne wearing a corset by mr pearl, early 1990s.
© michael james o'brien

the catwalk crew at marquee, group shot.


the catwalk crew at marquee, 2013. photo by jason akira somma


fashion underground: the world of susanne bartsch will be on view at
the museum at the fashion institute of technology from september 18, 2015 through december 5, 2015.


all photos courtesy of FIT

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