Paris-based photographer Vivienne Mok is entirely self-taught, her soft, painterly aesthetic being deeply rooted in her history in fashion design. Shortly after studying at Parsons School of Design and taking a position at a French fashion house, she began shooting as a means of showcasing her garments. Soon after, her photography took on a life of its own, her flowing fabrics laying the foundation for ethereal and imaginative visions of mysterious young women.
When collectors Michel Hurst and Robert Swop discovered the many photo albums of Casa Susanna at a 26th Street flea market in New York City, they knew that they had unearthed a forgotten treasure. In the gender-conforming culture that defined much of mid-century American life, Casa Susanna was a refuge for the heterosexual male cross-dressers who gathered on weekends from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s as their female alter egos.