“Style is about expressing yourself,” says Susanne Bartsch. “You can be whatever you want to be—a silver screen star, a Marie Antoinette baroque creature, or a Victorian punk. I love that about fashion and make-up.”

Susanne Bartsch has long been a highly visible player in New York City nightlife, with her parties known for their mix of uptown and downtown, gay and straight, high fashion, street style, and Mardi Gras extravaganza.

Her penchant for extreme fashion and make-up have made her name the equivalent of a couture label among the “Fashion Underground,” a diverse group of individuals united around a love of fashion, defined as an embodied practice of self-expression and transformation. This creative subculture distinguishes itself from the commercial, mainstream fashion system, but their extraordinary styles, often bordering on performance art, have often influenced the wider world of fashion and beauty.

Follow Susanne on Instagram: @bartschland. Share on social media with #FashionUnderground