Currently reading : Frida Kahlo’s back corsets and prosthetic leg
The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City is holding an exhibition named Smoke and Mirrors: Frida Kahlo’s Dresses until November 22nd where you can go and see pieces from her wardrobe. Famed for having one of the strongest individual identities of any female artist, an eclectic selection of clothing can now be seen in person after being locked away by a friend for the last fifty years. Known for having a life inflicted with mental anguish and physical disability, she created her identity around these concepts of suffering and loss. These confining back braces were worn by Kahlo and the exhibition holds pieces inspired by them created by Jean Paul Gaultier and Rei Kawakubo from their archives. A piece created by Ricardo Tisci is also on show inspired by Kahlo’s appropriation of her Mexican heritage which is a particular highlight . After experiencing Polio as a child, Kahlo had to wear shoes with an elevated heel to maintain balance which she decorated with her expressive style inspired by ethnographic textiles. The strictness of these leather back braces in comparison to her dynamic and often sensual clothing creates a strange juxtaposition. There is a severity to them which in retrospect seems to only enhance her powerful image. The portrayal of herself in her paintings brings up these themes of disability and tradition but actually seeing the constrictive nature of these objects on their own enhances the toughness of her life.
Read more about the exhibition here and see other images of her wardrobe.