Described as the “most famous female artist in history” by The Tate Modern, 63 years since she died, Frida Kahlo is widely recognised as one of the most innovative and ground-breaking painters of the 20th century. Her personal possessions, which were locked away for 50 years after her death, have been photographed but never before exhibited outside of Mexico… until now. The Victoria and Albert Museum is expected to display the Mexicana’s personal collection of artefacts from the 16th June- 4th November 2018. As this anticipated exhibition is set to open this summer, we explore Kahlo’s influence on the world of art and design.
Kahlo’s luck was limited from the start. As a young child, she battled with polio, which left her with a limp in her walk. At the age of 18, Frida was travelling in a city bus that collided with a street car. Frida was seriously injured, impaled with an iron rod that almost left her for dead. As a result, she spent three months recovering in hospital and to occupy her time, she turned to painting.
Told through her use of bold colours and dramatic symbolism, Kahlo was deeply influenced by indigenous Mexican culture. Her art was bold, bright, beautiful, and most of all, spoke of her pain and her thoughts. Her artistic style and personal clothing choices have followed her through the ages, into the 21st century, with many still looking at Kahlo as a liberated icon to be remembered and emulated.
Well-known for her unibrow, flower crowns and bold fashion style, Kahlo’s influence on the creative industry is prominent, especially if one looks to the archives of the Fashion World. Designers seeking inspiration have looked to Kahlo as a stylist figure, by honing in on her personal flair. Dolce and Gabbana, well known for their Sicilian inspired fashion collections, payed homage to Kahlo with floral headbands on more than one occasion; first in their SS12 show, and then again for their Fall Winter show of the same year… and continuously since.
Dolce and Gabbana, RTW SS18.
Photo: Yannis Vlamos for voguerunway.com.