Frida Kahlo & Fashion...

By Lucy Harbron - 08:44


Frida Kahlo is an iconic figure. She's a feminist icon, an ever-lasting source of artistic inspiration and history, and a forever re-occurring image in fashion. However, I'll admit that until a couple of days ago, I knew nothing of her or her story, past seeing her distinctive look on Instagram. But then I watched Frida, with the lady herself depicted by Salma Hayek. I weeped, I laughed, I fell head over heads. Her story is both so brave and bold while being so heartbreaking. I can't recommend it enough.

Both Frida, and her art cemented themselves firmly into fashion and art culture in general. The vivid colours in her work, inspired by traditional Mexican art, give a clear Frida vibe. Bold colours, flowing shapes, patterns, accessories, the classic flower headpiece; you're instantly reminded of trends we've all bought into in the past.

Two obvious examples of Kahlo in pop culture:

Her 1940 painting, 'Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair', has become a famous image of masculine/feminine androgyny, and female empowerment. It depicts the relatable scene of a post-breakup hair cut, given a powerful edge as she wears a suit, and overhead the lingering lyrics; 'Look, if I loved you it was because of your hair. Now that you are without hair, I don't love you anymore'.

The image is so clear in Kristen Stewart's look for the Stella McCartney Autumn 2015 presentation. The slicked-back dark hair, the slightly too big suit jacket. But we've also seen this look on Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie. It's a classic power look, and Frida painted it long before any designer dared to showcase it.

Possibly my fave of Kahlo's work is 'The Two Fridas'; depicting her two personalities, two nationalities, two states- one heartbroken, one healed. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. Kim Kardashian's dress for her bachelorette party is so reminiscent of the left Frida; a bright white dress interrupted by the embroidered patch over her heart, the high neck. Seeing a celeb like Kim K sporting Kahlo inspired garms shows the length and breadth of her influence. Stemming far beyond the art kids.

The influence is undeniable, and constantly re-occurring. And honestly it's incredible, having such a powerful figure, a woman of colour so prideful and deliberate in her identity, still be so present in culture over 60 years after her death. An icon in so many realms and for so many people. I love it.

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