Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Frida Kahlo's Iconic Style


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.


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Interesting and surprising to know that you admire Frida so much. I have another blog friend that lives in New Mexico, USA who is an artist and is extremely fond of Frida. I can't tell how many paintings she has done of Frida and shared on her blog. Don't you just love the way she dressed. And don't you wonder why she kept her eyebrows. I have those same eyebrows all my life...just like my father's and had to tame and pluck them all the time.
xx, Carol

Atelier Marie-Lucienne said...

Hello Maya,
even though I'd never be bold enough to wear clothing like Frida did, deep down inside I really would like to (at least something like my OWN style - which I still haven't found at 46... Sigh...). I love those bright and colourful garments and I admire the audacity to wear them.
Be it as it may, Frida's colourscheme is so full of life, strength and courage, it's impossible not to be touched by it.
Have a lovely day,

Divya N said...

It was interesting to read about the Tehuana dress. In most parts of the world a similar costume -a long skirt - loose blouse combo exists but it is often considered unfashionable or tacky. It is interesting to note how Frieda made it not just fashionable but iconic

Maya Kuzman said...

Well, I don't know why it is surprising- I've mentioned the fact before,and no good,old bohemian living soul should be left without knowing Frida.
Now, in the topic of Frida, I might point out that the source of my inspiration and admiration is her self-consciousness, strength and lust for life, overcoming all the blows life presented her. The rebel in me understands why she boldly wore her unibrow and moustache -she even darkened both to show she doesn't care about feminine beauty ideals, as a woman and a mother I feel deeply for her void, wanting children so much and not being able to have any. as an educator I admire her for showing girls (especially in her native land) that a woman can reach the top in a man ruling world.I have a collection inspired by her coming up. Wanted these posts to be a prelude to it.

Maya Kuzman said...

Please, disregard all typos. I always have a hard time typing replies on the phone.

Maya Kuzman said...

You have said it beautifully Marjan. I wear bold colored bohemian clothes, mostly in summer, but never as much as she did.

Maya Kuzman said...

That is a proof that fashion transcends time and place and occurs similarly in different cultures and civilizations.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to read..
When I studied art, I immediately liked her paintings.
The colours and the strength speak for itself.
It's wonderful that she also used her clothes to send out a message, not only to hide herself.
And I learned more about her, reading this blog, so thank you :-)
Have a nice weekend, Sigrid

handmade by amalia said...

I've always liked Frida as well. Did you see the film? I thought Selma Hayek was amazingly like her.

Maya Kuzman said...

Dear Sigrid, I appreciate her talent immensely, but many of her paintings are too raw and vulnerable and wherever I see them (on the internet) they bring a ton of sadness.Of course knowing the experience that triggered them. Glad you liked the post. Thank you for your visit.

Maya Kuzman said...

Sweet Lord. I actually cried my eyes out Amalia, when I watched the film. Selma portrayed her masterfully!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I find Frida so interesting and inspiring! She didn't let anything hold her back.