Even if you can’t name a single one of her artworks, chances are you know what Frida Kahlo looked like. The Mexican artist - played by Salma Hayek in the film biopic - is famous for her iconic uniform of lushly coloured dresses, elaborate shawls and a monobrow, partly because of her fondness for creating self-portraits. This summer, the V&A are staging a major exhibition of Frida’s beautiful clothes, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up (June 16 - November 4). Many of which are pretty much works of art in their own right. Here are some of the highlights:
Fashion was political for Frida, who embraced the sartorial traditions of Mexico and South America to celebrate her cultural identity and the Mexican Revolution.
Long before Cara Delevingne made you throw out the tweezers, Frida knew the power of a strong brow. The V&A have got hold of the eyebrow pencil she used - in ‘Ebony’, obvs - along with Revlon lipstick and nail varnish.
Childhood polio and a horrific bus crash left Frida with lifelong medical problems and chronic pain. Included in the exhibition are several surgical corsets and this, a prosthetic leg with a red leather boot and Chinese-inspired embroidery.
Along with her own self-portraits, Frida’s taste in fashion has stayed with us thanks to a series of super-bright photographs taken of her by Nickolas Muray. Check these out and it won't be long before you're plaiting flowers into your own hair.
Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, sponsored by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, opens at the V&A on June 16, and tickets are on sale from March 8. Find out more here.