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Inspired by the long-awaited Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, this week's styling sequence combines bold colour with intricate floral motifs.
When we think of clothes in the first half of the 20th Century, we mostly bring to mind European and American fashions - the glitz of the Twenties, figure-hugging drapery of the Thirties, tightly buttoned suits of the Forties or circle skirts of the Fifties. The truth is, vintage style isn't just constrained to a singular ideal. A visionary artist who overcame tragic personal circumstances, Frida Kahlo projected her identity through her clothes and makeup as much as her art.
Although popular and successful in Europe and America, Kahlo's style was distinct and separate from the Western styles of the time. Instead she aligned her identity with the Mexicayotl movement of post-revolutionary Mexico, which sought to define an assuredly Mexican identity. Kahlo embraced Mexican culture and heritage in her dress, combining traditional garments in draped loose line styles with bold colours and ornate and detailed embellishment. Here, we've paid tribute with a vintage Mexican-manufactured pink cotton dress embroidered with flowers - a repeated motif of Kahlo's wardrobe.
As well as an expression of her political views, Kahlo's dress was also a declaration of her personal identity. Some of the most fascinating pieces in the V&A's exhibition are Kahlo's jewellery and makeup, which she used to create her iconic look. We've accessorised this outfit with chunky gold jewellery from an independent designer, Rosita Bonita, whose work centres on stylised images of flowers, foliage, birds and dragons recreated in foiled leather - symbols repeated in Kahlo's work and outfits. Frida also often wove ribbons and flowers through her hair - with a nod to this we've added purple flowers from Shazam Vintage.
Of most interest to us, however, are Kahlo's medical corsets and prosthetics, on display at the exhibition. As a result of a both a bus accident and contracting polio in her youth, Kahlo spent significant time bed bound, and when up and about relied on corsets to support her back. Intricately hand-painted by Kahlo herself, Frida reclaimed the corsets that could have been so restrictive as part of her identity.
Underneath this outfit, Eva is wearing our new Blossom Pink Satine Lingerie. An update on our Satine pattern, this set is made from the same stretch satin as our previous colourways. This time we have omitted the side knicker clips for a smooth pull-on finish.
We've topped off this outfit with a pair of our Glamour Seamed Stockings in the Nutmeg/Green colourway. Our Nutmeg skintone has been specially designed to match olive to mid-brown skintones, and is now available in five different seam colours!
Model: Miss Eva Leigh
Model: Miss Eva Leigh
By other designers:
Dress: Vintage from stall on Olvera Street, Los Angeles
Belt: Obi Belt from The Japanese Shop
Earrings: Rosita Bonita
Shoes: Miss L Fire
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