Fashion Reader: Frida Kahlo – Sus Fotos

The Fashion Reader is a series where I explore the books that have influenced, inspired and intrigued me. I share stories about writers who have provided that creative spark, those who have shaped my beliefs and those who have simply been a pleasure to read. With some, the link to fashion will be obvious, with others, the relevance to women in fashion might be more subtle. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading…
Whilst in Singapore I had the pleasure of meeting up with Circe Henestrosa, a fashion curator, working at LASALLE College of the Arts, who graduated from our Fashion Curation M.A. course in 2009.
Circe spoke about the fantastic exhibition ‘Smoke and Mirrors: Frida Kahlo’s dresses’ she curated, which featured outfits, personal objects and pieces from the artist´s wardrobe. The exhibition was held at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, but I would love to see it come to London in the future.
Realising we shared a mutual interest in Kahlo, Circe gave me a book featuring photos from the artist’s personal archive, which I have been absorbed in ever since.
The book includes more than 500 photographs which are categorised into major themes, including her childhood, ill-health, time at Casa Azul, her political struggles and loves.
Man Ray, Edward Weston and Tina Modotti are only some of the photographers whose images are featured in the book and, unsurprisingly, they make for compelling viewing.
The photos offer such an intimate insight into Kahlo’s life, I was really struck by the depth of these powerful portraits.
There were particular photos that really stood out for me and I wanted to share these with you.
IMG_2819 (1)Frida in Casa Azul. On the reverse: “Frida recently operated in 1946 – Coyoacan – she remained worse than ever with pain nobody could possibly imagine.” Antonio Kahlo
Carlos Veraza, Frida Kahlo’s nephew. The          To the left is Jean Abbot Wright, the person cut out is
note says. To my beloved aunty, as proof of       Frida Kahlo, and to the right Cristina Hastings, Detroit,
the affection your nephew has for you.                Michigan. April 21, 1932.
Carlos Veraza. May 10, 1926.
fd2Frida Kahlo in Casa Azul. On the reverse: “Here is  your portrait chicua in August 1930 and it is dedicated to you with love. Freon”
fkkkX-Ray of Frida Kahlo, April 1954, Mexico City
fkkFrida Kahlo ca. 1943
fkkkkkDiego Rivera in his studio in San Angel. Mexico City, ca 1940.
The book is edited by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio and is beautifully published by RM.
You can also hear more about Circe’s exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s clothes on this episode of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.