The Fashion Reader is a series where I explore the books that have influenced, inspired and intrigued me. I share stories about writers who have provided that creative spark, those who have shaped my beliefs and those who have simply been a pleasure to read. With some, the link to fashion will be obvious, with others, the relevance to women in fashion might be more subtle. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading…
Circe spoke about the fantastic exhibition ‘Smoke and Mirrors: Frida Kahlo’s dresses’ she curated, which featured outfits, personal objects and pieces from the artist´s wardrobe. The exhibition was held at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, but I would love to see it come to London in the future.
Realising we shared a mutual interest in Kahlo, Circe gave me a book featuring photos from the artist’s personal archive, which I have been absorbed in ever since.
The book includes more than 500 photographs which are categorised into major themes, including her childhood, ill-health, time at Casa Azul, her political struggles and loves.
Man Ray, Edward Weston and Tina Modotti are only some of the photographers whose images are featured in the book and, unsurprisingly, they make for compelling viewing.
The photos offer such an intimate insight into Kahlo’s life, I was really struck by the depth of these powerful portraits.
There were particular photos that really stood out for me and I wanted to share these with you.
Carlos Veraza, Frida Kahlo’s nephew. The To the left is Jean Abbot Wright, the person cut out is
note says. To my beloved aunty, as proof of Frida Kahlo, and to the right Cristina Hastings, Detroit,
the affection your nephew has for you. Michigan. April 21, 1932.
Carlos Veraza. May 10, 1926.
The book is edited by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio and is beautifully published by RM.
You can also hear more about Circe’s exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s clothes on this episode of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.