Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, in a Tehuna costume, with her pet hawk, 1939.
Frida Kahlo, in a Tehuna costume, with her pet hawk, 1939.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art currently has an exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s work (on view through September), which consists primarily of self-portraits creating a sort of narrative of her emotional life (as that was often the focus of her art).

Kahlo with "Me Twice" October 24, 1939 (Bettmann/CORBIS)
Kahlo with her self-portrait, ‘Me Twice’ in 1939

The exhibit also explored how (what amounted to Surrealism) appeared in her work. A small section of the exhibit examined her connection to San Francisco, along with Diego Rivera in the 1930s and 1940s.

Having seen this exhibit, I was especially thrilled to learn that there is now a book on the (relatively) newly discovered trove of her clothing (Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo).

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo by Carlos Phillips Olmedo, et al. Publication Date: June 18, 2008

The clothing was found in a trunk in an unused bathroom in 2004, with an exhibition following in 2006. According to the press coverage (from AP), “A trunk recently discovered in the floor of an unused bathroom at the [Blue House Museum] revealed hundreds of Kahlo’s colorful skirts and blouses, many still infused with the late artist’s perfume and cigarette smoke.”

The book not only includes a discussion of the ethnic dress that inspired her choices but also provides details on the restoration process. Here are a few of the interior images from <Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo

Amazon has a lovely Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo option for this book, allowing you to read front and back flaps, the table of contents, as well as an excerpts from several chapters (with some photography). It seems to me that this is an incredibly useful resource for fashion historians, academics and the art community in general.

Until next time,

Heather

www.fashionhistorian.net

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2 Comments

  • Bleach January 24, 2011 07.31 pm

    this is a great blog. I love her work. And Diego also

     
  • La maison de Frida Kahlo – SPECIAL MODESPECIAL MODE
    September 8, 2015 - 12:01 am

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