Archive | January, 2013

Frida Kahlo, an icon in many ways (part 2)

27 Jan

Frida in America

Frida Kahlo is a fashion icon and remains one of the most popular artists ever. Frida was a true original and her life and looks are appealing to many. I admire Frida Kahlo also because she was an incredible strong person, who didn’t drown in sorrow because she suffered a great deal during her life, instead  she stayed true to herself and tried to make the best of it.

Recovering from her injuries isolated Frida from other people and this made her focussed on her painting. It also influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits. “I painted myself because I am often alone and because I am the subject I know best”, Frida stated, “I was born a painter.”

“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”—Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The dresses of Frida Kahlo

After Frida died in 1954 Diego Rivera (her husband) locked the closet doors and vowed never to allow anyone to enter fearing the contents would be mishandled or ruined. When Diego died, not many years later, he entrusted the inheritance to a friend, Dolores Olmedo, who promised to keep it on-opened till her death. She died in 2002.

Eventually, museum personnel decided it was time to look inside. And what a discovery. Art historians and fashionistas already knew Frida was unique and ahead of her time. But, what the items in the exhibit show are that despite the disabilities, the monobrow, and the violent depictions of the female anatomy in some of her paintings, Frida Kahlo was a bit of a girlie girl who wore makeup, used perfume and dressed up her prosthetic leg with a red high-heeled boot.  Her clothing aimed for style and self-protection but it also made a statement, both political and cultural. Inside not only articles of her clothing, but also hundreds of personal items, including photographs, love letters, medications, jewelry and shoes.

This was especially true of the Tehuana dresses Kahlo wore like a “second skin,” said Circe Henestrosa, the exhibit curator. Colorful and carefully made by native artisans, they were a tribute to the matriarchal Tehuantepec society whose women were traders, considered equals with the men. Tehuana’s long skirts were also the perfect way for Kahlo to hide her ailments, including a polio-deformed leg she would eventually have amputated.

Cover Vogue mexico during opening month exhibition 2012

On november 22, 2012 an exhibition opened in the Frida Kahlo Museum for which they collaborated with Vogue Mexico. ‘Appearances Can Be deceiving: The dresses of Frida Kahlo’ . The exhibition will stay there for a year.

In order to elevate the exhibit from simple costume into a fashion exhibit in collaboration with Vogue Mexico, the show also includes examples of how her style has influenced modern design. There are the corsets from Jean Paul Gaultier and Comme des Garçon collections.  And in the Givenchy dresses on display, designed by Riccardo Tisci, there are Kahlo-inspired flowers, white lace and cotton, reminiscent of a few key elements often found in her paintings.

frida kahlo dresses on display

Frida Kahlo exhibition

Frida Kahlo exhibition

Frida Kahlo shoe

Frida Kahlo corset                                                                                                                             .

Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçons and Givency for Frida Kahlo Exhibition

Jean Paul Gaultier

Gaultier

Comme Des Garçons

Givenchy

Givenchy

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Frida (the movie)

Frida the movie is a beautiful, colorful and entertaining biography, although not always accurate. For many years Salma Hayek, who portrays Frida Kahlo, worked and lobbied to get this movie produced.

Frida, the movie

Frida the movie is a beautiful, colorful and entertaining biography, although not always accurate. For many years Salma Hayek, who plays Frida Kahlo, worked and lobbied to get the movie made.

Frida begins with the traumatic accident Frida Kahlo suffered at the age of 18 when a trolley bus collided with a motor bus she was riding. She is impaled by a metal pole and the injuries she sustained plague her for the rest of her life. To help her through convalescence, her father brings her a canvas upon which to start painting. Throughout the film, a scene starts as a painting, then slowly dissolves into a live-action scene with actors.

Frida also details the artist’s dysfunctional relationship with Diego Rivera. When Rivera proposes to Kahlo, she tells him she expects from him loyalty if not fidelity. Diego’s appraisal of her painting ability is one of the reasons that she continues to paint. Throughout the marriage, Rivera cheats on her with a wide array of women. The two travel to New York City so that he may paint the mural Man at the Crossroads at the Rockefeller Center. While in the United States, Kahlo suffers a miscarriage, and her mother dies in Mexico. Rivera refuses to compromise his communist vision of the work to the needs of the patron, Nelson Rockefeller; as a result, the mural is destroyed. The pair return to Mexico, with Rivera the more reluctant of the two.

Salma Hayek as frida

Kahlo’s sister Cristina moves in with the two at their San Ángel studio home to work as Rivera’s assistant. Soon afterward, Kahlo discovers that Rivera is having an affair with her sister. She leaves him, and subsequently sinks into alcoholism. The couple reunite when he asks her to welcome and house Leon Trotsky, who has been granted political asylum in Mexico. She and Trotsky begin an affair, which forces the married Trotsky to leave the safety of his Coyoacán home.

Kahlo leaves for Paris after Diego realizes she was unfaithful to him with Trotsky. When she returns to Mexico, he asks for a divorce. Soon afterwards, Trotsky is murdered in Mexico City. Rivera is temporarily a suspect, and Kahlo is incarcerated in his place when he is not found. Rivera helps get her released.

Kahlo has her toes removed when they become gangrenous. Rivera asks her to remarry him, and she agrees. Her health continues to worsen, including the amputation of a leg, and she ultimately dies after finally having a solo exhibition of her paintings in Mexico.

Salma Hayek as Frida

 (Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo in self-portrait with the earrings Picasso made for her)

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Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: Frida’s Wardrobe

Frida bookcover

The first book focused on one of the most memorable aspects of Frida’s creative output: her wardrobe.

Original and beautifully staged photographs (95) of Frida’s newly restored clothing are paired with historic photos of the artist wearing them and her paintings in which the garments appear. Frida’s life and style were a large part of her art and she deserves recognition as a fashion icon.

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Fashion designers and photographers are still inspired by Frida Kahlo

For the Givenchy Fall 2010 Couture collection, Ricardo Tisci’s inspiration was Frida Kahlo and her three obsessions: religion, sensuality and  given the painter’s lifelong battle with spinal pain, the human anatomy. The zipper pulls were little bones, a belt was a spinal column re-created in porcelain. The dominant motif of the collection was the skeleton.  At one point during his presentation, Tisci rather tellingly muttered, “A romantic way to see death.”

Givenchy

Givenchy

givenchy

Comme Des Garçons s/s 2012 collection was influenced by Frida Kahlo’s paintings and corsets.

Comme des Garçons Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection Slideshow on Style.com

CDG s/s 2012

CDG s/s 2012

And the Comme des Garçons fall 2005 collection had some inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s looks & style

CDG fall 2005

CDG fall 2005

CDG fall 2005

In 1998 Jean Paul Gaultier made a collection called ‘Homage a Frida Kahlo’

JP Gaultier Hommage á Frida Kahlo

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Karl Lagerfeld photographed Claudia Schiffer as Frida Kahlo for German Vogue in 2012

German Vogue

German Vogue

claudiaschiffer3

German Vogue

German Vogue

German Vogue

German Vogue

German Vogue

.Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, an icon in many ways (part 1)

20 Jan

Frida Kahlo

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter, who is best known for her self-portraits, her tumultuous marriage to renowned muralist-painter Diego Rivera, but Frida is also famous for her significant style.

Frida Kahlo’s style of dressing and accessorizing

The most unique aspect of Frida’s style was the way she mixed different colors, patterns and textures. Although the eclectic patterns she wore together didn’t necessarily matched, they never clashed and created a one-of-a-kind look. She bought the fabrics and  took them to Indian  seamstresses. Frida also loved accessorizing to the max… She always wore lots of ornate jewelry. More is more was her style and she would wear earrings, necklaces, bangles and rings all at once.

But her hair was her most colorful accessory. She braided her locks and decorated them with brightly colored flowers and ribbons. She even wove fabric into her braided updo’s. And Frida Kahlo rocked the unibrow with pride.

Twice in her life she cut her hair short and started wearing man’s clothes. The first time when she was still a young woman trying to discover her identity. The second time was when she divorced Diego in 1940. Frida cut her hair, threw off her Tehuana costume and reclaimed her bold 21 year-old self. In Self Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940) Frida adopts a man’s suit and short hair, holding the scissors in her hand, her hair litters the floor and her eyes challenge the viewer.                                                                                                                                             .

Frida Kahlo photographed by her father

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

                                                         Frida Kahlo selfportrait with cut-off hair

Frida Kahlo facts of life

Frida was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico. When she was six, Frida contracted polio, which stunted the growth of her right leg. Despite this disability, Frida was quite the athlete growing up and participated in many sports, including boxing.

In 1925, Frida was involved in a terrible auto accident and had to spend over three months recovering in a full-body cast. Although she recovered from the injuries, she spent the rest of her life having painful relapses, which oftentimes left her bedridden.

After the accident, Frida began to paint and sought out artistic advice from Diego Rivera, whom she later married. However, Frida was a self-taught artist who was well known for her self portraits and still life paintings.

Frida was an animal lover and owned dogs, cats, monkeys and birds. Her beloved pets were often painted alongside her in her self portraits.

Frida passed away in 1954, but her paintings did not become well-known until the early 1980s. Today, her work is recognized worldwide and her life has been portrayed in numerous books and films.

Frida Kahlo painting

Frida Kahlo posing with a selfportrait

Frida Kahlo and 'The Two Fridas'painting

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

Frida loved to dress up for Diego, who adored her feminine and colorful taste in clothes and jewellery.

Although Diego Rivera was 20 years older than Frida, she  called him her ‘big child.’ Frida loved Rivera, even though he was reportedly unfaithful. She once said, “I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me  down … The other accident is Diego.”

The following is from a letter that Frida sent to Diego in 1940:

“Diego my love, remember that once you finish the fresco we will be together  forever once and for all, without arguments or anything, only to love one another. I adore you more than ever. Your girl, Frida (Write me).”

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego weddingday 1929

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Frida & Diego

Diego at Frida's bed

Frida Kahlo’s corsets and artificial leg

‘She had a tremendous self-confidence.  She was convinced that what she wore displayed who she was inside,’ said Alejandra  Lopez, art restorer for the painter’s home.

Frida used her clothes to disguise a life of pain, both  physical and emotional. Her long, full skirts hid a tiny, thin right  leg, and loose blouses covered the stiff corsets she wore for back  pain.

Frida selfportrait in corset

Frida Kahlo corset

Frida Kahlo's leg-prothese

Frida Kahlo’s succes in Paris

Andre Breton recognized that Frida Kahlo’s work was Surrealist in 1938. ‘The promises of fantasy are filled with greater splendor by reality itself!’ he exclaimed about her work. Breton organized an exhibition in Paris to include seventeen of her paintings in 1938. Traveling to Paris, Frida met Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinsky, and others, dazzling Parisians with her style and originality, her portrait appeared on the cover of French Vogue. She returned to Mexico feeling more sure of herself as an artist than ever before. Her pictures were selling and had earned the praise of many severe critics. Frida was not disturbed by critical comments from those horrified by her shocking themes. Frida felt uplifted by her popularity in Paris among famous artists, political figures, and writers.

Vogue cover Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s jewelery

Her earrings were elaborate drops or dangles in the traditional Mexican style,  and her necklaces often featured roughly-hewn, handmade stone beads and pendants. These styles were popular in early Central America; they were not “trendy” or in fashion at the time of Frida’s life. For Frida, they represented cultural tradition, and she wore them largely as a political statement.

In fact, it’s been said  that Frida sometimes was the brunt of jokes when she walked in public in her showy, traditional Mexican outfits and gaudy pre-Columbian jewelry. But this look, which included over-the-top traditional Mexican hair styles, was deliberately crafted by Frida as a backlash against new trends and a message of cultural preservation.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida KahloFrida Kahlo

Frida kahlo

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Next week ‘Frida Kahlo, an icon in many ways’ (part 2): an exhibition, a movie and how her look still inspires fashion photographers and designer.

Young Frida Kahlo photographed by her father Guillermo

Who doesn’t want to look like David Bowie?

13 Jan

David Bowie

“I re-invented my image so many times that I’m in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.”

I am definitely not the only one, that thinks David Bowie is the most stylish man ever….. Whatever persona he became during his career, they were all incredible stylishly dressed, fantastically groomed and so well made-up. Some of his looks have become iconic.

Fashion editors, designers and photographers have often been inspired by David Bowie. In this post I want to share some the stories, photographs, a movie and an exhibition based on his style though the years.

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Tilda Swinton photographed by Craig McDean

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Tilda swinton

Tilda Swinton

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W magazine published a story August 2011, photographed by Tim Walker and modelled by Tilda Swinton, inspired by David Bowie in the movie ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

Tilda Swinton

Tilda swinton

Tilda swinton

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Tilda SwintonTilda swinton

Tilda swinton

Tilda Swinton

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Arena Homme+ issue 38 was dedicated to David Bowie, fabulous cover and story photographed by David Sims and modelled by Duncan Pyke

Arena Homme+ a/w 2012-13

Duncan Pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

David Bowie/ David Sims

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

duncan pyke

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Dahne Guinness photographed by Bryan Adams (yes, the musician turned photographer) for Vogue Germany

daphne guinness

dapne guinness

Daphe Guinness

daphe guinness

Daphne Guinness

daphe guinness

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And ofcourse Kate Moss on the cover of Vogue Paris, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Kate Moss

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Kate Moss as David Bowie photographed by Nick Knight in 2003

Kate Moss

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Designer Jean Paul Gaultier based his collection s/s 2013 on popstars including David Bowie

JPG s/s 2013

Jean Paul Gaultier 2013

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David Bowie is

exhibition

david-bowie-is

An extraordinary exhibition charting the career of British singer David Bowie will open at the  Victoria&Albert museum in London next March. The V&A is going for the bigger picture and  has announced details of the first museum retrospective for a man who is one of the most influential performers of modern times. The “David Bowie is” exhibition will feature handwritten lyrics, original  costumes and set designs alongside the 65-year-old star’s own instruments. “David Bowie is a true icon, more relevant to popular culture now than ever,”  said V&A director Martin Roth. David Bowie Is, launching on 23rd March 2013, will be running for four months.

For tickets go to the next link, don’t wait to long….!!!!

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/david-bowie-is/about-the-exhibition/

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Dave

Film poster Dave

Belgian model Hannelore Knuts portrays  David Bowie in movie ‘Dave’ by Soulwax brothers Stephen en David Dewaele

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Tilda Swinton

Lynn Yaeger, ‘Fashion makes me happy’

6 Jan

Lynn Yeager

Lynn Yaeger is a contributing fashion editor to Vogue.com and a contributing writer to Vogue. She is a former fashion reporter for The Village Voice, having worked for the paper for 30 years. Her column, “Elements of Style”, was renamed “Frock Star” in February 2007. Yaeger is also a regular contributor to The New York Times, Style Magazine, American Vogue, Travel & Leisure, and countless antiques & collectibles dealers. Lynn is also a fashion columnist for Full Frontal Fashion, a style website in association with Sundance Channel. She is known for her eccentric personal style, powdered face and dark, cupid’s-bow lipstick.

Lynn recently won first place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ category of humor writing for newspapers with more than 100,000 circulation.

Lynn Yeager describes her hairdo as that of  ‘the world’s oldest French orphan’

People have asked how I get the courage to walk the streets in, say, a shredded Comme des Garçons coat over a tutu, with metallic orange hair. I owe my confidence at least in part to my parents, who were convinced I was the cutest thing on earth and told me so every single day. (Recently, seeing my reflection at a party, I could almost hear my mom saying, “Lynnie, you look so pretty!”)

Lynn Yeager

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An interview with Lynn Yeager

by Michelle Liu

You have a very distinctive signature look.  How did Lynn Yaeger become “Lynn Yaeger”? Describe your fashion philosophy. 

It evolved over the years. It is a very flapper look. Originally, I wore a lot of vintage clothes. I thought that as I got older, I would get more and more conservative, but the opposite happened.

It was a way of working out my obsession with clothing and style without actually having to pay attention to trends, because most of the time they didn’t suit me. It’s hard to say how these things happen. It’s a very organic process.

I have a two-part style philosophy, and it may seem like the two parts contradict each other but they don’t. The first part is that you should really feel free to invent yourself and wear whatever you want. And the second part is that you should spend a lot of time in front of the mirror to make sure this is the perfect rendering of what you think you want. I really like it when people make a huge effort.

Lynn Yeager

You are known for your hilarious observations about fashion and everything that influences it. How has humor shaped your view of fashion?

It’s ALL humor! I mean not all, but I really do try to take the long view of the things, see what’s fun about it, and the absurdities. It’s a question that cuts both ways. I think people like to read things that are funny.

Lynn Yeager with an expensive bag

How do you think you have influenced the New York fashion scene? 

I always hope to inspire young people who may be feeling like they are not accepted, or they are a little funny, or they are a little off the mainstream.  My hope is that by being so out-there and so much of an individual myself, that will inspire them. Also, every time I see a tulle petticoat on the runway I’m like, “They copied me!”

What are your favorite shopping destinations in New York? 

I love the Fifth Avenue department stores. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I love both Bergdorf and Barney’s. I like the Comme des Garçons store. I like the Garage flea market on the weekends on 25th street. I go there every weekend. I’m a really compulsive shopper. I’m in stores all the time. I’m a daily shopper, let’s face it. I don’t buy that much. I feel like I’m there just for the experience.

Lynn Yeager

If I only had a day in New York, what are the things I must do?  Eating, relaxing, anything.

I’m not much of a eater. I would go shopping in the morning at the department stores, and if it was the weekend I would go to the flea market on 25th street. I think it’s fun to just walk around downtown in the Village or Nolita. It’s a great walking town. If you have never been to Century 21, you should go there.

What’s your pick for the best fashion people-watching in New York?

When the fashion shows are on, outside the shows is great, but the whole town is a fabulous array of people watching. It also depends on what you are looking for: Madison Avenue for rich people all dressed up in the latest styles; Union Square for cute kids.

Lynn Yeager

What are your must-haves when you travel?  Do you have a pre-packed suitcase? 

I have a pre-packed bag with my cosmetics and miniature toothpaste and things, but I don’t have a pre-packed suitcase. I don’t bring the sort of clothes that seem like they would be easy to travel with – I bring all my tutus and everything, and this is further complicated by the fact that I don’t check my clothes because they are too precious to me. I would have to cram all my clothes into my carry-on, and check the other bag with the things that can be replaced. It’s a bit of a nightmare packing-wise.

When I was in Paris last spring, it was really cold and I had my one coat with me. All the Frenchies had their cute little fur coats. I was like: “Damn it!  It’s not fair!” I was stuck with the same green coat everyday. I don’t plan my outfits for everyday, but the items I have with me are usually fairly elaborate.

Lynn Yeager wearing Comme des Garçons

What is your number one travel destination?

This is the most boring answer in the whole world. I like Paris, France. I know it’s ridiculous. I like everything about it: the way it looks, the things you can buy, hearing people speak French. I even like it that the French are so mean — it’s more of a challenge. I also like it when it’s not fashion week, arguably even more.

What inspires you when you travel? 

I like looking at the people when I go to a new city. I travel a lot because I also write for Travel + Leisure. A lot of times I’ll be in the taxi from the airport going to Buenos Aires or Amsterdam, I look out the window and realize I packed all the wrong things – this is how people look and I’ve got this all wrong. I would see people riding their bikes with a big sweater on. And of course I didn’t pack a big sweater. I love to observe these regional differences.

Lynn Yeager wearing Comme Des Garçons

How about any favorite travel finds? 

Tons. That’s what I do. I go shopping and buy things. I had a rule for a while to not buy clothes, only accessories, because I would buy clothes and it would not be the right thing. Lately, I’ve going off that rule and bought clothes, some more successful than others.

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Lynn  Yeager asks some questions….

some Birds of Paradise

Style Icons Suzanne Golden, Patricia Fox, Lynn Yeager, Iris Apfel and Tziporah Salamon came together for tea and a discussion about their fashion sense….

Lynn Yeager asks the group if there is a time when style failed them. Lynn: “I confess that there have been rare occasions — a business meeting, say, or a funeral — when I’ve looked at my wardrobe and thought, Why, this is a clown’s closet! Did the others ever face a similar dilemma?”Ah, indeed I have, Ms. Yeager, though I did not realize it. I have donned what I considered to be perfectly appropriate attire, only to be hounded by school children hoping to follow me to the circus.  I have arrived at business meetings only to realize that metallic green harem pants were undermining my credibility. And in these cases I have watched people’s faces pucker in disdain. Oh yes, I have. 

What to do if this should happen? Well, goslings, there is a tunnel out of this mess: dazzle them with what you are saying.  Trot out the upper echelons of your vocabulary, make eye-contact, and pretend that you feel confident.  Of course this only works if you really know what you are talking about (I also have to resist the urge to over-enunciate like Julie Andrews when my back is to the wall). But a few times I’ve been able to pull it out of the fire this way.  And it can be exciting to watch someone change their opinion of you as you speak.

A workplace can deform one’s sense of style to be sure.  An oncologist can’t really wear a sun dress, and you should never see your lawyer’s feet.

Lynn Yeager has great advice on this issue. With her extreme, Weimar Republic broken-porcelain-doll looks, Lynn says that in order to look sane when she’s gotta go somewhere and be a journalist, she always carries a very expensive designer bag.

Lynn Yeager: ‘Fashion makes me happy’

Lynn yeager