Frida Kahlo's Fashion Sense Unmasked: Struggle Through Clothing

Frida Kahlo not only rocked the unibrow with pride, but her iconoclastic choices helped make her one of the most recognizable artists of all time. She is widely revered for her surrealist art and self-portraits, and her unique sense of Mexican-flavored style has become ingrained in fashion trends worldwide. Soon, for the first time ever, the reasons behind her remarkable dress choices have been exposed.
The late Mexican artist’s emblematic garb will be the subject of a new exhibit titled “Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo.” The exhibit, sponsored by Vogue Mexico, will be on display in Kahlo’s former home in Mexico City, which is now the Frida Kahlo Museum, starting November 22. (Up until recently, her estate wanted to keep her belongings private.)
Why we need to learn how to magically transport ourselves to Mexico? Kahlo was unabashedly herself, and her colors and floral head wraps have become a source of inspiration for pop stars, photographers, and fashion designers alike. “She had a tremendous self-confidence. She was convinced that what she wore displayed who she was inside,” said Alejandra Lopez, an art restorer who works at the painter’s former home-turned-museum.
Yet, it wasn't all aesthetic for Kahlo. The artist also used her bohemian style as a shield against her physical deformities, which resulted from a bout with polio in her youth and a bus accident at age 18. Her signature flowing broomstick skirts veiled a maimed right leg, while her peasant blouses concealed a stiff corset. Interestingly, some have argued her eclectic fashion may have masked the physical pain due to repeated miscarriages and the infidelity of her husband, renowned muralist Diego Rivera. Here, we can all agree: Fashion is a platform for self-expression and a creative output to channel our deepest emotions. (Thank you, Frida, for showing us how!)
A true trendsetter (possibly the original), Kahlo is noted for mixing indigenous and traditional Mexican garb with chunky jewelry and braiding ribbons and flowers in her hair. Hopefully, this exhibit won't just serve as an inspiration — plus a glimpse into the artist's fashion sense — but also shed some light on her inner turmoil. Most definitely, however, it will certainly inspire a new generation of art lovers...and style mavens. (Daily Mail)
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Image via Daily Mail

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