I have always been deeply fascinated by Frida's unique fashion style as well as her struggle in life. In real life, as in her paintings, Kahlo used fashion to channel her physical and emotional insecurities into statements of strength, heritage, and beauty.
At the age of 6 she had polio that left her with one leg shorter than the other and then at 18 she had an almost fatal accident that left her body broken and to hide the physical scars and imperfections she started wearing long skirts and corset - style tops and blouses.
The clothes she used to wear were by no means chosen by accident.
She chose the Tehuana traditional dress. The Tehuana dress comes from the Tehuantepec Isthmus, which is in the southeast part of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca. Frida's mother was a Tehuana native, so naturally she found this style close to her origin and identity. Another interesting fact is that the Tehuantepec Isthmus is a matriarchal society, so this means she chose the style of dominant and powerful women.
The Tehuana dress is composed of three parts. There is a heavy headpiece made with pleats and flowers and ribbons, so the adornment is concentrated around the head. Then there is a short blouse heavily adorned with jewelry and a long skirt ending in elaborate lace. The dresses she wore were mostly cottons, silks and laces, although Tehuana women also wear velvet dresses for more formal occasions, Frida actually had just one such set because velvet was very hard to wear - her body couldn't sustain it.
Wearing these dresses, she showed how proud was she of her Mexican heritage and her style gave her strength to endure the constant pain of life.
In my research of Frida's style I acquired valuable information from this article. If you love Frida, reading this is a must.