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Frida Kahlo: Feminist, Selfie Queen, Queer Icon and Style Muse of 2017

Ellie Violet Bramley - The Guardian
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November 1, 2017

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at their Blue House in Mexico City (Nemo Ng)

What is it about Frida Kahlo? More than 60 years after her death the radical Mexican artist, who is remembered above all for her searing self-portraits, is being celebrated on the catwalk and setting the cultural agenda. When a bracelet with the artist’s face on it is spotted on the wrist of Theresa May, as happened at the recent Conservative party conference, Kahlo-mania can safely be said to have entered the mainstream.

In high fashion, Kahlo’s influence can be felt in the maximalism of Alessandro Michele’s heady Gucci aesthetic. For autumn/winter 2017 that meant florals and bold bows, ruffles and clashing, all in keeping with Kahlo’s love of excess; rings, flowers and embroidery.

Her influence was also there in the sparkly red hearts, lace and horticultural prints at Dolce & Gabbana and in the hot pink on catwalks from Balenciaga to Burberry. The boxy, mannish tailoring – a key look this season – at Céline and Isabel Marant recalls a family portrait from 1926, in which Kahlo is wearing her father’s suit.

... Circe Henestrosa, curator of the Frida Kahlo museum’s exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo, currently showing in Mexico City, thinks the fact that she was ahead of her time is key to her relevance. Her attitudes towards gender were progressive – her relationships with women and men, and her penchant for suits, mean she has been hailed as a modern queer icon.

Her influence also reverberates beyond high fashion.

Read the rest at The Guardian

Related: Exploring the Unconventional Frida Kahlo: 10 Facts About the Fearless Feminist Artist Known for Her Self-Portraits (IndiaToday)

Related: Frida Kahlo Museum Opens Its Doors in Playa del Carmen (The Yucatan Times)

Related: Colorful Embroidery Breathes New Life Into Portraits of Cultural Icons (My Modern Met)

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