Friday Kahlo fabric

Indi's favorites - Frida Kahlo

There’s a much bigger story behind the Frida fabric than just its great aesthetic. In fact, one of our most popular designs might have never happened if it hadn’t been for an art assignment Indi was working on for school. 

The Frida fabric was one of the first fabrics we ever bought that wasn’t upcycled from a thrift shop. It’s also one of the most expensive fabrics we source and the hardest to come by. We first spotted it in a little boutique fabric shop in the suburbs of Melbourne. Actually, it leaped out! “Hey, this is Frida Kahlo!!!”

Indi was working on an art assignment comparing the life and art of Frida Kahlo to that of Vincent Van Gough. So Frida’s image was instantly recognisable. Frida was a surrealist artist who grew up in Mexico, the daughter of a Mexican woman and a German Jew. Her artistic influences were bold and vibrantly colored and feature natural elements from South America. This is reflected boldly in the fabric we use for our corsets.

Frida’s story is inspirational. She was going to study medicine until she suffered a horrific accident at just 18 where she was nearly killed by a streetcar. She was largely demobilised, but rather than give up, she overcame terrible injuries and used her time to become a world-renowned artist. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. 

Frida wore plaster corsets for most of her life because her spine was too weak to support itself. She painted them, covering them with pasted scraps of fabric and drawings of tigers, monkeys, plumed birds, a blood-red hammer and sickle, and streetcars like the one whose handrail rammed through her body when she was eighteen. 

Frida was ahead of her time in both her art and the topics she explored. Next time someone asks you about your Frida corset make sure you share a bit of Frida’s story!

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