In recent times, Frida Kahlo’s work continues to arouse interest; her works are exposed in the most important international museums and they are very successful both with the critics as well as with the public (in Milan the exhibition at Mudec has totalled 358,000 visitors ranking in third place in the top ten of the most visited exhibitions in the city).
Now it’s London’s turn, to pay tribute to the great Mexican artist with an original exhibition entitled “Making Her Self Up” at the V & A (Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge) on show until November 4th. The aim of the exhibition is to show how, through her original way of dressing, Frida Kahlo managed to build her own identity, making her one of the most photographed women of her time. On display for the first time, 200 personal items, including clothes, accessories, jewellery, cosmetics (but also letters, medicines and orthopaedic corsets she personally decorated) that reveal an unconventional, bold, courageous style just like the one portrayed in her art.
Frida was a feminist icon that loved heavy and unusual make-up, bright red lipsticks, fuchsia pinks, and black eyeliner to highlight thick eyelashes. Her hairstyles were also very original, decorated with bows, crowns and flowers. The unusual accessories she wore such as earrings or necklaces in silver and precious stones, skirts or shawls had the traditional Tehuantepec embroidery. The exhibition is curated by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa and is complemented by a series of courses and workshops dedicated to the artist’s style and to Mexican fashion and textile culture.
Above: Frida Kahlo with Olmec figurine, 1939, photograph by Nickolas Muray, © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives