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  • Writer's picturePatrick Cabasset

L’incandescence de Frida

It’s the fashion exhibition of the season: Frida Kahlo, in all her scandalous, intimate, stylish splendour, has become an archetype of Mexican fashion inspiration. Definitely one not to be missed!

The artist photographed in colour by Nickolas Muray in 1939

Woman, artist, invalid, communist... Rarely has a profile as divisive and a beauty as unique as Frida Kahlo’s gone down in history with such panache, to the point of becoming an inspiring fashion archetype and the starting point for many fashion designers’ ethnic research. This extraordinary personality is brought back to life here in this exhibition at the Musée du Costume de la Ville de Paris this autumn, exploring it in great detail, right down to its most intimate aspects as the modernity of both her style and her behaviour moves us as much for its assertiveness as for its naivety.

Left: Frida photographed by Toni Frissell for Vogue USA in 1937; centre: by Imogen Cunningham in 1931; and right: by Nickolas Muray in a typical Tehuantepec dress in 1939.

This presentation comprises over 200 objects from the Casa Azul, the house where she was born and raised, including items of clothing, accessories, cosmetics, medical prostheses and letters, among other things. The collection was rediscovered in 2004, after seals were placed on these effects at the request of her husband, painter and muralist Diego Rivera, when Frida died in 1954.

Visitors to the exhibition will discover her traditional Tehuana dresses, the pre-Columbian necklaces she collected, and the corsets and hand-painted prostheses she used on a daily basis, among other things,

along with a series of films and photographs and a capsule collection of clothes influenced by her distinctive style, including designs by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Rey Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo in July Taymor’s 2002 film of the same name

Frida Kahlo, Au-delà des apparences (‘Beyond Appearances’). 15th September 2022 to 5th March 2023. Palais Galliera, 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris.

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