became her 'signature' look. Her way of dress 'defined' her and in a few rare photos showing her in pants, it actually looks odd to me. The long skirts and boxy tops probably provided more comfortable wear considering her constant physical pain, casts and limitations. But this is a sewing blog and we need to get on with the rest of the story......
Elpida posted her gorgeous hand-painted 'Frida' skirt in her Burda Studio account. The skirt is not only hand-painted, but includes crochet flowers in Frida's hair and a real earring, below, and to say it caught my eye does not do this piece of work justice. It is stunning! At this point I'd never heard of a woman named Frida before and if you were to scroll down and read the comments at Elpida's post, mine responded that 'I was not familiar with Frida and had enjoyed learning more about her after a quick Google search'. But who can forget this sort of image!! It was stuck in my mind.... the strong eyebrows, cheekbones and red lips with flowers in her hair. Elpida has graciously given me permission to post her beautiful photo and I want to thank her again. And if you are not familiar with Elpida's work, please check out her Burda Studio as well as her Instagram account. She is an artist! She also has another photo posted in her Burda Studio you may want to see of her Frida skirt.
This link held an interesting article to read about the scene as it is quite funny, complete with the character painting self-portraits holding the monkey that Frida was known to enjoy.....
Fabrickated began a 'Dress Like Frida Sewalong' , so by now at least knowing who Frida was, sort of!, I enjoyed reading Kate's blog post and clicked on the resources she linked and posted there. But I was not interested in participating in the Sewalong at the time, because my time is limited, my handmade wardrobe is still limited and I.need.wearable.clothes! To be perfectly honest..... Frida's style of dress is not my style at all. But I continued reading Kate's posts and her 2nd post defined and featured the making of a huipil, (pronounced 'wee-peel'), Frida's traditional top of choice. One of her commenters mentioned this video of the making of a traditional huipil that I watched and found most interesting. But I knew I could not do this..... as a huipil is adorned with beading and trims and again.... is simply not my style.
By then the curiosity spirit had been aroused and I came upon the most fascinating documentary of anything I've found on Frida called 'My Dress Hangs There: Frida Kahlo as Fashion Icon' done by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Highly recommend taking the time to watch this little over 1 hour video, if you don't read or watch anything else about Frida as it covers, not only her fashion, but her life in a biographical way. Scholarly and very well done. Still felt there was no way I wanted to sew any clothing remotely anything like what she wore.
Then a few of my IG friends were posting some of their works in progress, Sue who blogs over at fadanista was one.... and they all looked like they were having such fun pulling together prints, beads, trims and even creative textiles for their hair. I thought how nice but I did not have time as I needed wearable clothes in 'my style'.
It's still hot and humid here and recently I'd picked up a small piece of crepe fabric wanting another summer top. As I was fingering the fabric, wondering what pattern I should choose, I found myself thinking..... this looks like fabric Frida might've worn. Bright colors, symmetrical design. Hmmmm. As I thumbed through my pattern stash and came upon Simplicity 2188 I realized this is a top made from a modified rectangular piece of fabric with a pleated neckline...... a huipil...... in a nutshell. At that point I knew this little top had to be made. As I laid out the fabric for pattern placement, it was chosen deliberately for the flowers and leaves to lay this way with the thought of Frida and what she might have worn. From what I can tell, some of the tops she wore were plain, though honestly most were embellished with trims, embroidery and beading. I've already blogged all the details of this top here and disregard that red arrow, below, as this is the photo I used on the construction blog post to point out a sewing detail. You can see from the pattern, that from the shoulder seam to the hem it is pretty straight, particularly after the pleats from the neckline would pull it in more at the upper side seams.
read all the details here, but that goldenrod yellow top-stitching thread was deliberately chosen to coordinate with this yellow top with this full ensemble in mind. By now I was SO excited about this outfit!!! There might have even been a few dreams about how to pull it all together by now. ;)
......I found this Harper's Bazaar article interesting, as well as The New York Times.
......Kate has published a 3rd week and a 4th week on the Sewalong and I think she's got a few more upcoming posts on Frida planned. And a big Thank You to Kate for triggering this interest in Frida for me.
My chapter and journey on Frida Kahlo is complete now and I hope you might have enjoyed learning a little more about her. May we all never lose our 'love of learning'!!
Happy Sewing All! :)