Friday, 13 July 2018

Frida Kahlo at the V&A

Last week I went to the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Frida was the flamboyant Mexican painter who dressed as colourfully as she painted, but this exhibition was much less about her bright and arresting paintings and more about her life, with photographs and film footage of her experiences. Most of the objects in the exhibition were items found from her home, which had been locked away for 50 years after her death, effectively in a time capsule.

Items in the exhibition included her prosthetic leg and red leather boot which was beautifully decorated with a Chinese dragon.

They also had the plaster corset painted and decorated by Frida Kahlo. She suffered a lot of pain in her life due to polio in earlier life and a traumatic car crash which she never really recovered from. Decorating these items was a way of coping with it.

My favourite part of the exhibition was in the final room where there was an amazing collection of her outfits accompanied by a small selection of her artwork and bright photos of herself. I love this photo below which shows Frida against a turquoise wall with pink flowers in her hair.

Frida embraced the traditional Mexican dress and this became her signature style, which involved long, full skirts (enagua) and boxy tops (huipil), all in fabulously bright colours.

Needless to say, the exhibition shop had some wonderful items to choose from including the fabulous colourful top below. I realised that these tops are actually very simple to make as they are effectively two squares sewn together so I've decided to try my hand at making one of these. Watch this space for an update on the next Cheeky Leopard venture!

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