Frida Kahlo's famously vibrant wardrobe to go on show

The iconic artist's clothing and other personal belongings will be exhibited outside of Mexico for the first time at London's Victoria and Albert Museum

07 September 2017 - 12:32 By Caroline Leaper
Frida Kahlo’s inspirational work and style will be on show in the UK in 2018.
Frida Kahlo’s inspirational work and style will be on show in the UK in 2018.
Image: Supplied

This week the Victoria and Albert Museum in London announced its major fashion exhibition for 2018, dedicated to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's famously vibrant wardrobe.

Kahlo, one of the most innovative and influential painters of the 20th century, is widely considered a style icon thanks to her eclectic taste and love for colour, print and hauls of jewellery.

The artist's personal items, including necklaces, photographs and letters that have never been seen outside Mexico, will be displayed at the V&A from June 16. An official title for the exhibition is yet to be determined. 

This photo entitled 'Frieda on Bench' was taken by her on again, off again lover Nickolas Muray.
This photo entitled 'Frieda on Bench' was taken by her on again, off again lover Nickolas Muray.
Image: Supplied

"The V&A will present the first exhibition to be held outside Mexico of Kahlo's clothing and personal possessions, including prosthetics, medicines, accessories, jewellery, photographs and letters," the V&A said.

"These were discovered in the Blue House in 2004 following the opening up of cupboards and storerooms which had remained sealed for 50 years.

"This groundbreaking exhibition will explore the development of Kahlo's style as an amalgam of traditional Mexican garments, fashion from Europe and beyond, and demonstrate how her wardrobe was expressive of the complex relationship between her Mexican and Western heritage."

Kahlo's work and her personal style were frequently intertwined, as evidenced in paintings such as My Dress Hangs There (1933) and The Love Embrace (1943) which will also be on show.

She also brought her craft into her wardrobe literally, hand-painting dresses and corsets.

Stars from Beyoncé to Salma Hayek have routinely cited Kahlo as a fashion reference both in their work as well as in their personal lives. Hayek played Kahlo in Hollywood biopic Frida in 2002, while Beyoncé credits her bold approach to dressing as an inspiration, and even once dressed up as the artist at a fancy dress party. - The Daily Telegraph

The Frida Kahlo exhibition will run from June 16 to November 4 2018 at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

This article was originally published in The Times.

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