Use your imagination to go on a captivating journey to Mexico, the world of an exceptional artist, Frida Kahlo. Feel the intensity of colours surround you, see the streets filled with dancing people, but besides all that joy, feel their poverty and sadness too. This is where tradition constantly intertwines with innovation. It’s a world full of contradictions, so perfectly captured in her art. It was those paintings created by Frida – bursting with colour and emotion – that triggered the creation of the project Frida by Isabel March.
I’ll try out some pencils
Sharpened to the point of infinity
That’s always looking ahead:
Green – the good warm light
Magenta – the old Aztec TLAPALI
the blood of a tuna fish, all that’s
the liveliest and the oldest
Brown – the color of mole sauce, of leaves falling down
Red – the earth
Yellow – madness sickness fear
part of the Sun and the happiness
Blue – electricity and purity love
Black – nothing is black – really nothing
Green – leaves, sadness, science, all
of Germany is of this colour
Yellow – even more madness and mystery
all the ghosts wear
clothes of this colour, or
at least their underwear
Grey blue – the colour of bad advertisements
and good businesses
Baby blue- distance. Tenderness
can also be baby blue
Red – blood? Who knows?
The outfits, inspired by this incredibly strong and independent woman, the pride of Mexico, and her unobvious art were created for the purposes of a photoshoot that consists of a cycle of photographs and haute couture costumes.
Fascinated by the artist’s paintings, the author made a decision to design dresses that would resonate with the spirit of thirteen of Frida Kahlo’s paintings. Carefully selected colour palette and combinations of fabric shades and accessories are made to imitate the impressions of colour spots visible in the paintings. Just look at one of the suits inspired by the work of art Self portrait with cropped hair. The whole outfit is made from black material imitating hair, which is a clear reference to strands of hair around the protagonist on the painting. Another costume strictly related to the life of Frida Kahlo and her work is the outfit designed on the basis of the painting Wounded deer. This painting was developed at a critical point in the artist’s life. Suffering from health issues during a turbulent and very painful relationship with Diego Rivera, the painter portrayed herself as a wounded deer. The costume, the upper part of which is inspired by the background of the painting, was made from highly transparent lace body in a shade that corresponds with the colours of a forest in autumn, just like the collar embellished with leaves. The lower part is a tribute to the artist herself: it’s a skirt made from special fabric that resembles the delicate hair of a deer in its structure.
All the lace, fringes and silk in multiple hues are combined to tell a story of femininity, handicraft, folk, and art. The materials bring all of those elements together into one coherent whole, and their variety is an interpretation of patterned Mexican materials and a rendition of textures that can be found in Frida Kahlo’s paintings.
The entire collection is full of skirts that emphasize the femininity, sensitivity and uniqueness of the painter’s beauty; in turn, suits represent the history of her protests against the world she found, showing masculine power and sexual liberty. Corsets are also a key element depicting Frida’s life – trapped in an orthopedic corset for many years.
In the course of creating this new collection, the designer decided to spice the outfits up a little with folklore style by adding floral embroidery inserts, which in its entirety allowed to create a unique collection of folk haute couture dresses.
The intention behind this project is the author’s own interpretation of Frida Kahlo and Mexican art and culture so full of contrasts. It’s an avantgarde folk haute couture collection that unites all of those elements. It is a story of a woman who was strong and incredibly complex – spiritually and physically, full of sadness and unfulfilled dreams, of her relationship with Diego Rivera and her belonging to the tradition of Mexico, yet told in a Polish context, by a Polish woman living in Paris.
The inspiration behind the entire project were the works of renowned Mexican artists: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente or the aforementioned Diego Rivera, commonly referred to fathers of the so-called Mexican Renaissance murals – monumental graphics full of colours, painted on the facades of buildings.
In the collection we can also find references to the author’s fascination with the feast of the dead – Día de Muertos, observable in masks inspired by the character of La Catrina. The embellishment of costumes by putting on a mask of La Catrina with an eschatological and floral motif refers to the character of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo’s life partner. For the artist herself, the world of nature was the expression of happiness and vitality of life. Many painting of flowers and fruit contain barely perceptible erotic symbols. It was indeed nature that served as her means of breaking the taboo of female sexuality.
Dear Reader – we invite you to travel to the world of Frida Kahlo, a world full of contract, nuance, and desire. Surround yourself with colours – so bright and warm at the first sight, as a cover that hides deep sadness, loneliness and emptiness.