Viva La Frida Kahlo
Dear Secret Agents,
One of the most demanding missions every year is Halloween night. People are approached by ghosts of all kinds to take them on: dark masks, scary witches, zombies and vampires. To fight against the dark tendencies on Halloween night we always employ one of our scariest and most colourful secret agents: FRIDA KAHLO.
Whatever you throw at her, Frida always comes out triumphant. Struck by polio, she recovered. Hit by a bus, spine and collarbone were fractured, foot broken and pelvis shattered – not only did she persevere but celebrated her pain in full blown colours. Frida’s demeanour was so scary and her clothes so colourful that when she died her husband Diego Riviera locked all her clothes in their bathroom and demanded it remained sealed fifteen years after his death. He knew that her colours would get to him, dead or alive. That’s how scary Frida was…is?
Frida Kahlo had that piercing look of death decorated with beautifully colourful florals. She recognised her pain. She faced her broken heart. She put it on canvas for the whole world to see. She was a woman with balls. Balls in the head – that is. Never apologised for her colours. The best secret agent we’ve ever had. Viva La Frida Kahlo! Viva La Colour Revolution!
This post is a collaboration with the London based artist, obsessive maker, puppeteer, poet and feminist Diane Goldie. I came across her bold colourful designs on Instagram and she custom designed the orange Frida dress I am wearing above. Diane is the maker behind colourful designs worn by the wonderfully colourful Sue Kreitzman and you have probably seen her work displayed in Bright Old Things at Selfridges. Her kimonos are wonderfully playful and the best is you can work with her to personalise yours. Yes, you can have your own Frida Kahlo attire! I met Diane at the Ishiuchi Miyako photography exhibit of Frida’s clothes at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London on 6 July. Upon entering the gallery we realised it was Frida’s birthday that day. A sign! What was supposed to be a ‘cup of coffee’ ended up being a wonderful sharing of life stories. Tears were shed, more than once.
I did a 1950s Frida Kahlo look with her dress and Preston Zly Selina Wedge. Not quite the fifties submissive suburbia housewife material, right? – Exactly my point. A bit of Frida should be kept in each and every woman of past, present and future. If it was forgotten in the fifties, it was to our detriment. If it is forgotten today, it is to the detriment of the next generation of women. Frida’s stubbornness and outspoken vulnerability is the best medicine against boxes we are put into as women. We do not have to chose between strong and vulnerable. Life will test us for both, and as long as we are true to our colours we will find our authentic path. Ah yes, colours. Always colours!
I decided I will post her dress when I reach 1000 followers on Instagram. This coincided with Halloween so I went as Frida. It is most relevant to my blog since most of my photos are self-portraits, done with a self-timer. I now challenge you to create your own version of a Frida Kahlo inspired look. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram with your photos and I will create a post with all the photos. Let’s have some fun! Viva La Frida!