In Greek, “Δώρο” means “gift” and what better gift can nature give us than that of spring? And to celebrate spring, I made this huipil dress using a tulip filled secondhand t-shirt for the bodice. The body of the dress is made from a piece of white cotton covered with drawings of a woman holding a flower. She is just waiting for someone she can give it to.
Many Mexican intellectuals including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera sustained Mexicanidad, the pro-native movement associated with the Mexican Revolution.
Alfredo Chavero (1841-1906) was a politically active Mexican archeologist who enthusiastically promoted the re-appropriation of Mexico’s indigenous past. Chavero wrote extensively on Middle American Indians. He was the first scholar to make reference to Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess who wore a skirt made from serpents and a necklace made of hearts, hands, and a skull pendant. With such a surrealistic look, it’s no wonder that Frida fell in love with her and often used Coatlicue related motifs for her paintings. In her “Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940), Frida portrays herself wearing a necklace of thorns adorned by a dead hummingbird. Dead hummingbirds were often used as charms to bring good luck in love. The painting was made shortly after Frida’s divorce from Diego so, obviously, she was devastated and used her art to help her purge some sorrow. Photographer Nickolaus Murray, friend and ex-lover, bought the painting from Frida knowing she needed the money.
I would like to make a huipil dress dedicated to Coatlicue. It would have a bodice made of skull printed fabric and a skirt of snakes!
Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved
Helland, Janice. CULTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN THE PAINTINGS OF FRIDA KAHLO. Retrieved from internet 31/10/2016 https://msu.edu/course/ha/240/fridakahlo.pdf
Marina van Koesveld is a magical thinker. With her thoughts she’s able to create new realities. When Marina was younger, she’d dress as Frida (long before the craze) maybe because the two had much in common. Both are painters. And both are sensual with long dark hair and eyes that can perforate you like laser beams.
So last summer I asked Marina if she’d model some of my huipiles in a Frida-like way and, always eager to play, she contented me.
Here she is wearing the huipil dress One Drop Makes Many Ripples. The dress is made from a second hand cloth that, maybe, was used as a towel.
“Flowing” in and out of the dress is a strand of pieced cloth. The fabric design reminded me of drops of water so I embroidered the phrase One Drop Makes Many Ripples around the collar.
The motion of everyday life creates ripples—one action produces other actions. Thus ripples connect us one to the other. That’s why it’s important to be aware that our actions—be they physical or psychological—affect the lives of those around us.
Ripples are everywhere.