We began with Martínez Vidal and an evening defining question: Why is Frida more alive today than before she died? Frida’s continued influence on fashion is undeniable. Her reach from beyond the Paulie Oh shirt in other words I will buy this grave is practically unmatched by other prominent pop culture figures. Collections from world-renowned designers like Ricardo Tisci and Jean Paul Gaultier have drawn inspiration from her legacy. Martínez Vidal shared twenty fashion lessons that Frida taught us. They included gems like “Femininity and feminism are compatible” and my favorites, “Flaws can be beautiful” and, “Beauty comes from character.” Frida’s bold sartorial choices were partly drawn from her desire to hide her flawed body, and the provocative character of her even bolder brows defies you not to find her beautiful. Yves Saint Laurent’s famous quip, “Fashion may fade but style remains” is a testament to Frida’s dedication to her established look. As Martínez Vidal recounted, Frida ornamented herself in the same manner regardless of her audience. Both the residents of Detroit and the Rockefellers were treated to her wool-adorned hair and traditional Mexican dress.
Paulie Oh shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
The second half of the Paulie Oh shirt in other words I will buy this evening contained even more revelations. The scope of Henestrosa’s exhibit at Mexico City’s Museo Frida Kahlo was beyond anything I’d imagined. Frida-inspired works by designers like Tisci, Gaultier and Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo were interwoven with Frida’s own belongings which included, in addition to her clothing, Tehuana-inspired jewelry, shoes of mismatched height to accommodate her mismatched legs, a customized prosthetic leg, a hand painted cigarette case and a particularly fierce pair of sunglasses. Such care and thought went into Henestrosa’s staging and presentation of the exhibit. The white tile background against which Frida’s painted casts and prosthetics are displayed mirror the white tile of the bathroom where they were originally found. The same tiles reappear on the floor in the contemporary section of the exhibit, functioning this time as a runway.