Pin It
Frida Kahlo and her pet eagle
Frida Kahlo and her pet eaglevia Canadian Museum of Textiles

An exhibition on Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe is coming to the V&A

The 2018 exhibition will feature clothes, jewellery, letters and paintings never seen outside of Mexico

The V&A have announced a major new fashion exhibition for next summer dedicated to the influential Mexican artist. 

Frida Kahlo, one of the great painters of the 20th century, is widely regarded as a sartorial icon thanks to her vibrant self-fashioning. With this upcoming exhibit the V&A aims to show how Kahlo's expressive wardrobe reflects the complex relationship between her Western and Mexican heritage. The collection has many personal items of Kahlo's never before exhibited; including hand-painted corsets, necklaces and photographs. 

In a statement released yesterday, the Victoria and Albert Museum said, “The V&A will present the first exhibition to be held outside Mexico of Kahlo’s clothing and personal possessions, including prosthetics, medicines, accessories, jewellery, photographs and letters”. The majority of this extraordinary collection was only recently discovered in the Blue House, Mexico City – where Kahlo lived with husband and fellow artist Diego Riveria – when storerooms sealed shut for fifty years were opened in 2004.

Kahlo died in 1954 but her iconic style has remained influential. Her bold fashion has been a key source of inspiration for designers Dolce & Gabbana, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Riccardo Tisci, and even modern style icons such as Beyoncé.

As detailed in a recent Dazed piece on her personal style, the majority of her wardrobe lay untouched for fifty years following her death in 1954. Her private dressing room in her home at Casa Azul was sealed shut on partner Diego Rivera’s orders, then only opened again in 2004. In Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, restorers Denise and Magdalena Roseinzweig describe entering the space five decades later: “inside, a strong smell, half-acrid, half-sweet, pervaded the air, a mixture of dampness, medicines, dust, and time.” Her wardrobe – “a simple piece painted white and weathered by time” – is described as holding “precious treasures.”

In the mean-time, check over our Dazed guide to Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo's Wardrobe will run from 16 June - 4th November 2018 at the V&A.