Susanne Bartsch has been the queen of New York City nightlife since the 1980s when she first became famous for spectacular parties, where a diverse crowd brought fashion to the level of performance art. Her most important party was undoubtedly the 1989 Love Ball, a pioneering AIDS benefit that brought the fashion world together.

Bartsch has had a profound impact on the world of fashion and visual culture. She has been a retailer, a fashion show organizer, a muse, and a catalyst.

Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch at FIT features approximately 80 looks from Bartsch’s personal collection of clothing and accessories, including designs by Rachel Auburn, Body Map, Leigh Bowery, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Mr. Pearl, Vivienne Westwood, Zaldy, and many others. Dazzling color photographs allow readers to witness the incredible art of transformation.

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THE PARTY  
9-18-2015 9-24-54 PMGiovanni Palandrani is a queen of makeup.

9-18-2015 9-26-28 PMThe night-life personality who goes by the name One-Half Nelson.

9-18-2015 9-26-54 PMMs. Bartsch with the hat designer Stephen Jones.

9-18-2015 9-25-42 PMGuests were not shy about wearing color.

9-18-2015 9-21-49 PMMore than a few duos showed up in coordinating costumes, including Prince Poloni (left) and Archie Roberston.

9-18-2015 9-28-49 PM The night-life habitué known as Sussi Suss. Krista Schlueter for The New York Times.

Susanne Bartsch and friends FIT Idiosyncratic Fashionistas IMG_1805

With Susanne is Montgomery Frazier and Malan Breton.

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

(September 2015–December 2015)

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