New York’s Underground Fashion on Display at FIT

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by Chris Roney

Being showcased now at the Museum of FIT is the exhibition Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch. From relatively routine to runway-ready, the collection will include the fashions of designers Rachel Auburn, The Blondes, John Galliano, and More. Bartsch has been the queen of the club scene since the 1980s, when her lavish parties became the new-age nexus between cutting-edge haute couture and the demi monde Harlem ball scene, affixing uptown to downtown, gay  to straight, and black to white. The exhibition will begin with an open-air gallery of mixed media images and videos cataloguing Bartsch’s career and couture. The main exhibition gallery will examine the cornerstone influence of Britain’s New Romantics on American fashion, and the vanguard role Bartsch played in propelling designers like Vivienne Westwood to the forefront with her famed boutique in SoHo and through international runways shows like the new legendary “New London in New York.” The exhibit will also showcase fashions adorned on Bartsch herself, as well as on her decorated pals at Savage, Copacabana, and Le Bain. In addition, Bartsch’s contribution to global fashion at large will chronicled, as well as her AIDS advocacy through Love Ball and her accruement of over $2.5 million for AIDS research in the course of a few short years. From September 18-December 5.

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