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Underground Nightlife Queen Susanne Bartsch to Display Her Party Clothes

Bartsch at the Museum at FIT in 2013. Photo: Getty
Bartsch at the Museum at FIT in 2013. Photo: Getty

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Let's take a quick rundown of your museum musts: Take in the Costume Institute's ode to China this month, get schooled in sneaker culture in July, and in September, relive New York's partying heydays with "Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch" at the Museum of FIT.

The exhibit will feature more than 80 looks from the nightlife impresario's personal collections, with looks from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Stephen Jones, Rick Owens, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler. The Swiss native who began throwing parties for diverse crowds in the 1980s is known for her risk-taking looks, and frequently incorporated fashion shows with burgeoning designers into her events.

"Style is about expressing yourself," Bartsch, a muse to designers and makeup artists alike and David Barton's former wife, said in a museum release. "You can be whatever you want to be—a silver-screen star, a Marie Antoinette baroque creature, a Victorian punk. I love that about fashion and makeup."

When the exhibit opens on September 18th, museum-goers will be treated to the looks that she and her friends wore to clubs like Copacabana and Le Bain back in the day, as well as a section devoted to the English punk looks she stocked in her boutique and a video introduction by Bartsch herself. Another area will focus on her wild looks from parties she's thrown for AIDS awareness, a cause she's raised millions of dollars for over the years.

Museum at FIT

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