Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up – Fashionable Concerns at V&A

Frida Best
Frida Best

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up opens at the V&A in London in June. Photograph: Nickolas Muray/© Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up will give the fashion world an exciting, and indeed colourful focus, when the exhibition starts Saturday June 16, 2018 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London. Advance bookings are recommended.

They will be bringing a modern echo of arguably one of Mexico’s greatest twentieth century artists Frida Kahlo, whose turbulent life finally found expression in her designs for vibrant clothing and outré accessories.

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Cotton huipil with machine-embroidered chain stitch; printed cotton skirt with embroidery and holán (ruffle). Museo Frida Kahlo. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums

Colour has made an impression on our lives for millennia, all cultures on earth have particular perceptions of, and about colour and Frida Kahlo was fearless when it came to colour.

It has come to symbolize many things both collectively and individually and has many variants, is neither black or white but in many shades of grey in between. In that respect, one could say colour is a metaphor for life.

Frida Kahlo’s clothing wardrobe will be on display complete with accessories and personal artifacts, which tell the story of the artist’s iconic identity, shown alongside photographs and paintings by the artist.

The stunning display will be showcased following the long and bloody struggle against shifting alliances in Mexico (1910-1920), and against a ‘backdrop of post-revolutionary’ fervour, will be guaranteed to inspire a whole new wave of designers looking for fresh motivation.


Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939, photograph by Nickolas Muray. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

This ab fab summertime show also allows for so much of the fashion world, including the Royal School of Needlework, and appreciation education about the industry of twentieth century visual arts to be involved.

V&A courses are world- renowned.

Theoretically over eight weeks on a Thursday afternoon spent with Chloe Sayer, author lecturer and curator, you will be able to gain an insight into Frida Kahlo’s personal life and times.

There are lots of choices of curator talks, alongside workshops such as ‘Colours of Mexico and Digital illustration.

You can take also take a practical course led by Jessica Aldred, from the Royal School of Needlework, who will introduce you to the art of ribbon embroidery.

You can discover and learn a technique lending itself to creating images as well as decorating clothing and accessories, one that will only be limited by your own imagination.


Detail of satin skirt with chain stitch and floral motif embroidery. Museo Frida Kahlo. © Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums

Learn spider stitch, web roses, ribbon stitch, straight stitch and detached chain stitch along with some easy freehand embroidery stitches.

Inspired by the artist’s vibrant style, V&A creatives have also worked with ‘Mexican artisans to bring to fruition an exclusive collection that complements this unparalleled exhibition’ available through their shop.

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Frida Kahlo with Olmec figurine, 1939. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

Frida’s Parlour is a fabulous social space, which can be visited throughout the day (free admission now open). It hosts an interactive installation inspired by Frida Kahlo and her famed residence in Mexico City, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), and at night a range of creative workshops now in play until June 16.

Jewellery making, flower headdresses, flower bouquets, floral embroidery, paper flower making Mexican Cocktail Workshops, self-portraiture all will take place at Ebury Street, Belgravia where Advance Bookings are also considered a must.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up

V&A Museum,


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