Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Susanne Bartsch’s World is Keeping New York Alive

Up until recently, I’d always thought of New York as the place where anything goes. For decades, people flocked here to be their wildest, most over the top selves, day or night, in the club or just walking around the streets- without judgment. As of late, as glass towers and artisanal everything takes over, the finger of judgment has taken over a bit (I recently got into a fight with a guy making fun of me at a bar for wearing a sequined cardigan from H&M because it was “too outlandish”…sigh). Every time I get a little bummed that New York is becoming more vanilla, I am reminded that Susanne Bartsch is still doing what she does best- hosting a place for everyone to be absolutely fabulous. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I found out the Museum at FIT would be hosting an exhibition dedicated to all things Susanne- and including her ridiculously amazing outfits she’s worn over the years (in addition to some of those she inspires like our friend Muffinhead).

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Since the 1980s, she’s been thrilling and chilling, inspiring New York to embrace its raw, unbridled creativity,¬†fostering the technicolor dreams most of us came here to fulfill. Her events are coupled with the push to express yourself harder than you ever though possible, with Susanne herself as the fashion plate of inspiration by wearing living art installations each week.

I have to say, this exhibition is possibly the best I’ve ever seen at FIT, not just because it is so complete, but because it captures a bit of New York that I’ve loved so much that seems to be slipping away uncontrollably. Many of us moved to New York for reasons like the existence of Susanne’s world, because it is not only the greatest city in the world, but the most creative and magical in that respect. It bums me out daily as I see it become more “regular,” as the clubs and bars that defined scenes disappear, as stores shutter to make way for J. Crew, as people move out of here because they are tired of living pay check to pay check. But Susanne reminds me, things change, cities change, but that doesn’t mean you have to change. She’s still creating her own magic, flanked by hundreds of like-minded magic makers. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to experience New York as it should be at Fashion Underground, the World of Susanne Bartsch before its gone.

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