• Frida Fervor: Frida Kahlo’s Fashion Influence Still has us Raising Our (uni)Brows Today.

Frida Fervor: Frida Kahlo’s Fashion Influence Still has us Raising Our (uni)Brows Today.

Frida Kahlo was and remains to be a revolutionary icon. From her subject matter of politics, sexuality, women’s rights, and physical disabilities, she defied the status quo. Through her personal politics, sex life, and fashion sensibility, she questioned gender norms and beauty ideals. The fire she shared with the world continues to influence culture and media well into 2015. From runways to exhibitions, Frida Kahlo’s influence still has us raising our (uni)brows today.

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Kahlo’s Closet. Photograph: Ishiuchi Miyako/Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery.
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“Appearances Can Be Deceiving”. Photo by Omar Torres.

Red lips and bold technicolored outfits, braided flower crowns and a defining thick unibrow, Frida never stuck to mainstream fashion styles of the early to mid-1900s. Choosing to identify as an individual rather than female or male, she often chose to dress like a man and once cut her hair like a man’s as well, which was considered highly unusual at the time. She was a fashion force to be reckoned with and the world took notice to her vivacious spirit and bold outfit choices. She even appeared in the pages of Vogue in 1939. Her style permeates on runways today.

The timing couldn’t be more relevant. Nearly 60 years after her death, the wardrobe of the artist was discovered and made public after decades of safe hiding from Husband, Diego Rivera. The beautifully handcrafted clothes were photographed and unveiled at the Michael Hoppen Gallery by artist Ishiuchi Miyako this past summer. Ranging from her brightly colored dresses to hand-painted body casts and braces, the exhibit allows viewers to envision these iconic pieces as benchmarks of life events for the artist. This exhibit closely resembles the 2012 exhibit “Appearances can be Deceiving,” which highlighted the artist’s struggle with physical disability, race, and gender through her wardrobe in Mexico City back in 2012.

This same year, the New York Botanical Garden exhibited paintings and works on paper from Frida Kahlo that represented Kahlo’s keen sensitivity to flora and fauna often represented in her works. The NYBG even replicated the garden she cared for at her home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City.

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For Vogue Italia. Stylist and creative director – Lisa-Marie Mewes/ Photographer – Jenn Werner/ Model – Kate Heck/ Hair and Make up – Claudia Astorino/ Video – Thomas Thoene/ Stylist Assistant – Tim Slotta

Ranging from bold colored patterns to androgynous style, the catwalks of fashion designers like Dolce & Gabbana to Givenchy are sporting remnants of Frida’s fashion sense. From beauty trends like naturally full brows and “Frida” portrait nail decals, her image has become even more of a mainstream icon, appearing in brands like Omighty and photo-shoots for fashion magazines, even gracing the cover of Vogue Mexico in 2011.

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Nearly 60 years after her death, Frida Kahlo is more alive than ever. Check out Porter LyonsPolyvore page to see some fiery Frida fashion, as well as checking out the newly launched “Deco Bohemia” collection, inspired by the 1920s; a crucial time for Frida as a young artist. Her ideals, fashion, and spirit will only continue to be immortalized through our time and culture.

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Julianne Merino

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Julianne Merino is an artist and published writer with ART+DESIGN Magazine and LyonsDenBlog.com with a concentration on arts writing. Winner of the Frederick Whitaker Foundation Award for excellence in painting, she also teaches printmaking at New Orleans Glassworks & Printmaking Studio, as well as works music festivals around the country.

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