Frida Kahlo’s Colorful Clothes Revealed for the First Time & Photographed by Ishiuchi Miyako

Frida 1

Imag­ine the dress up fun we could have in Grandma’s attic, if Grand­ma were Fri­da Kahlo (1907 – 1954) and the attic was a sealed off Mex­i­co City bath­room where Grand­pa — artist Diego Rivera, natch — had stashed all her stuff.

Yel­low-laced scar­let booties trimmed with beads!


A glam­orous, rot­ting swim­suit and an extreme­ly famil­iar-look­ing tra­di­tion­al Tehua­na head­dress!

A saucy pros­thet­ic leg! A skirt­ed body cast embell­ished with hand-paint­ed ham­mer and sick­le.


Now let us take a minute to live vic­ar­i­ous­ly through pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ishi­uchi Miyako, whose pre­vi­ous sub­jects have includ­ed the cloth­ing of her late moth­er and vic­tims of the atom­ic bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma. In 2004, the Museo Fri­da Kahlo’s staff start­ed orga­niz­ing Frida’s per­son­al effects. Rivera (1886–1957) had stored them in the afore­men­tioned Mex­i­co city bath­room, along with instruc­tions that the room should remain sealed for a peri­od of 15 years fol­low­ing his death. In 2011, the muse­um invit­ed Miyako in to doc­u­ment the far-from-mint con­di­tion relics, almost 300 in total.

frida glasses

“If I met her, I wouldn’t ask any ques­tions,” the pho­tog­ra­ph­er avowed in an inter­view with AnOth­er Mag­a­zine. “I would only want to stare at her and touch her body.”

There is an inti­ma­cy to her gaze that sug­gests this state­ment might be true. Rarely have a cou­ple of bot­tles of dried up nail pol­ish exud­ed such sen­su­al­i­ty.

Miyako’s Fri­da pho­tographs have been col­lect­ed in a book, and can be seen in the flesh in London’s Michael Hop­pen Gallery through mid-July.

via Patron of the Arts

Relat­ed Con­tent:

1933 Arti­cle on Fri­da Kahlo: “Wife of the Mas­ter Mur­al Painter Glee­ful­ly Dab­bles in Works of Art”

Fri­da Kahlo Writes a Per­son­al Let­ter to Geor­gia O’Keeffe After O’Keeffe’s Ner­vous Break­down (1933)

Pho­tos of a Very Young Fri­da Kahlo, Tak­en by Her Dad

Fri­da Kahlo and Diego Rivera Vis­it Leon Trot­sky in Mex­i­co, 1938

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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