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10 Things You Need to Know about Frida Kahlo

Posted by Fabrics Galore on

Source V&A


10 Must Know things about Frida Kahlo 

The work of Frida Kahlo is much loved by millions across the globe, and by everyone here at Fabrics Galore.So because of this, in our latest blog post the Fabrics Galore team reveal ten must know things that you need to know about the legendary Frida Kahlo.

We're also sharing some of our absolute favourite Frida Kahlo fabrics from the legendary Alexander Henry. Who doesn't want some Frida print fabric in their lives?  

1. Interest in Frida Kahlo has had a resurrection in recent years 

Currently the V&A are running the exhibition 'Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up', which is running until the 4th November 2018. 

2. Her work draws upon her Mexican heritage

Frida was influenced by Mexicanidad (Mexicanity) which was a romantic nationalism that inspired many Mexican artists at the time. It emphasized true Mexican culture and rejected the mentality of inferiority that colonialism had built. In both her paintings and her fashion choices, Mexico was incredibly influential to Frida and she famously dressed in traditional Mexican clothing.

The V&A exhibition explores Frida’s influence as a style icon, and also offers lessons in Mexican embroidery techniques and Frida Kahlo fashion styling workshops.

3. She wanted to be a doctor

The story of Frida Kahlo’s tragic life is notoriously well known, particularly after the release of the film Frida in 2002 starring Salma Hayek. She was born in 1907 and at the age of 18 Frida was injured in a horrific bus crash and struggled with intense and crippling pain throughout the rest of her life. It also meant her dream to be a doctor was abruptly taken from her. 

4. Her husband had an affair with her sister

After this tragedy in adolescence Frida suffered even more heartbreak in her relationship with fellow artist, Diego Rivera. They had a turbulent love affair, he was several years her senior and they both had numerous affairs. One of Rivera’s greatest betrayals was an affair with Frida’s sister.

5. She had a prosthetic leg

Which is on show at the V&A exhibition. She suffered from polio as a child and after the bus crash her legs were fractured in several places. As a result one leg was shorter than the other and she had to wear shoes with different sized heels, before eventually having one of her legs amputated the year before she died.

6. Pain and suffering are important themes in Frida Kahlo’s work

She suffered several miscarriages and the effect that this had on her is clearly seen in her work. Frida often introduces pain that is specifically female into her work, for example, childbirth, violence towards women and unrequited love.

7. She basically invented the selfie

But Frida’s self-portraits are about far more than simple vanity. In a self-portrait, artists are revealing a part of themselves, how they view themselves and what they want the world to see. And Frida’s depictions of herself are very telling. She emphasizes male aspects of her appearance, for example her moustache and unibrow. She also drew inspiration from portrayals of saints in Catholic culture, by always repeating the same features in her self-portraits which gave her recognisable attributes. Frida used her own body in her work to question societal roles of women, portraying herself as female, Mexican and strong.

8. She had an affair with Leon Trotsky

In 1936 Frida and Rivera petitioned that the Mexican government granted Trotsky and his wife asylum. Asylum was granted, and Frida and Rivera invited Trotsky and his wife to live in their house with them. During this time Frida and Trotsky embarked upon a brief love affair.

Source V&A

They remained friends and she dedicated this self portrait to him in 1937. 

9. She had friends in high places

 Famous surrealist artist Andre Breton saw Frida’s work and promised to make her an international success. Artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró quickly became huge fans of her work.


Alexander Henry Fabric - Todo Para Ti

10. This exhibition shows many personal items of Frida Kahlo which have never before left Mexico

 The collection is hugely varied and extremely personal. It has everything from her cosmetics, to her hand painted corsets.

 Create your own Frida Kahlo inspired design!

Frida Kahlo’s image is now so well-known and has infiltrated our everyday life, it's seen on everything from fridge magnets to our own Alexander Henry fabrics. So, let’s revel in this Frida Kahlo moment, and her influence as a style icon, an artist and a feminist and get creative.

Alexander Henry Fabric - Viva Frida

At Fabrics Galore we have a variety of stunning dressmaking fabrics for you to choose from that can help you evolve your wardrobe. So complete your stunning Frida Kahlo inspired sewing project by visiting our dressmaking fabric section now.



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