Frida Kahlo Fashion: The Artist’s Wardobe Unlocked After 50 Years – Photos

Frida Kahlo died in 1954. Her husband Diego Rivera gathered her things and locked them inside a bathroom in the Blue House, their home in their Mexico City. He died in 1957. And still the bathroom door remained locked. It was opened in 2004. Ishiuchi Miyako stepped inside and photgraphed the contents.

 

Frida by Ishiuchi #15, 2012-2015 © Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery press image

 

 

The Hoppen Gallery:

Frida Kahlo (1907 -1954) was an invalid throughout her life. Having protracted polio as a child she was then involved in a near fatal bus accident at the age of 18, which resulted in numerous surgical interventions. In the aftermath of her accident Khalo constructed her iconic wardrobe to camouflage her physical ailments. Ishiuchi Miyako’s images document the traditional Tehuana dresses that both concealed the damage to her lower body and acted as a feminist salute to the matriarchal society from which they are derived

 

Frida by Ishiuchi #3, 2012-2015 © Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery press image

Frida by Ishiuchi #3, 2012-2015
© Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
press image

 

Throughout her life she decorated her casts and corsets elevating them from medical necessities to visual armour. The final blow was the amputation of her leg in 1953, from which she never recovered. Even in this affliction she designed a prosthetic leg adorned with a boot covered in chinese embroidery and a little bell.

 

Frida by Ishiuchi #36, 2012-2015 © Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery press image

Frida by Ishiuchi #36, 2012-2015
© Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
press image

Frida by Ishiuchi #27, 2012-2015 © Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery press image

Frida by Ishiuchi #27, 2012-2015
© Ishiuchi Miyako. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
press image

frida kahlo suit

After her bus accident, Kahlo was in a full body cast for three months, and she remained in pain for the rest of her life. She painted her casts and corsets, turning them from medical equipment into artworks

frida kahlo swimsuit frida kahlo polish

The artist’s makeup compact

The artist’s makeup compact

Kahlo’s fringed boots, the right one with a stacked heel

Kahlo’s fringed boots, the right one with a stacked heel

Kahlo’s right leg was thinner than her left after childhood polio – and it was later fractured in 11 places when she had a horrific bus accident in her 20s. As a result, she wore long, traditional Tehuana dresses that concealed her lower body

Kahlo’s right leg was thinner than her left after childhood polio – and it was later fractured in 11 places when she had a horrific bus accident in her 20s. As a result, she wore long, traditional Tehuana dresses that concealed her lower body

Classic cats-eye glasses worn by Kahlo

Classic cats-eye glasses worn by Kahlo

 

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