For several years now, Frida Kahlo has become a popular icon and not just for her paintings but for her way of dressing as well. However, her personal style was a product of her personal evolution.
When she was a little girl, she dressed in the same way most little girls of her social and economically status did. But at the age of six, she contracted polio and, obviously, this would affect her in many ways including the way she dressed.
Polio had left her right leg very thin. She was often cruelly teased by the other children who called her “Frida, pata de palo” (Frida, peg leg). To camouflage the deformity, she’d wear several pairs of socks and built-up heels. She was also careful to cross her legs when being photographed so that the sane leg would cover the deformed one.
Had she been a man, trousers would have made hiding the leg easier. Maybe that’s why she often enjoyed dressing up like a man.
Around the age of 16, Frida became involved with a politically active group known as the “Cachuchas” because of the pointed hats they wore. The leader of the group was law student Alejandro Gomez Arias, Frida’s first love.
For about three years, Frida and Alejandro were always together. He was even with her when she was injured in the tram accident. Alejandro only suffered some minor injuries. He was with Frida at the hospital and, when the doctors thought there was nothing to do to save her, he insisted that they attend to her probably saving Frida’s life.
And Frida’s first self portrait was dedicated to Alejandro. She is wearing a robe that is slightly opened in a seductive way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep Alejandro’s attention.
Frida continued to be politically active. Her new look was that of the militant woman:A-line skirt, tailored blouse, scarf around the neck and hair pulled back in a bun.
It wasn’t until her wedding day that Frida Kahlo began wearing traditional Mexican dress and huipiles. She was only 22 whereas Diego Rivera was 42. Her parents referred to them as “the elephant and the dove.”
Copyright © 2015 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved