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A History of Style: Fashion Inspired by Frida Kahlo


Frida Kahlo

When you think of a fashion icon from the past, who is the first person that comes to mind? Marilyn MonroeAudrey HepburnEdie Sedgwick, perhaps? While all three of those women have enviable styles that we absolutely love, there are so many other fashionable women that have graced the history pages.

This biweekly column focuses on just that: unexpected and out-of-the-box fashion icons from the past. We feature women who have not only made an impact, but also have distinct signature styles that we can still draw inspiration from today.

If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check out our other “A History of Style” posts on Amelia EarhartBillie HolidayJoan JettLouise BrooksDorothy DandridgeElizabeth TaylorEdith HeadMary Tyler MooreSylvia PlathEdith Bouvier Beale and Marlene Dietrich.

This week we’ll be taking a closer look at painter Frida Kahlo‘s artistic and eclectic sense of style. Read on to learn more about Frida’s life and unique style, then check out some outfit ideas to help you channel her look for yourself:

Frida Kahlo Style 1

5 Facts About Frida Kahlo

  • Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico. When she was six, Frida contracted polio, which stunted the growth of her right leg. Despite this disability, Frida was quite the athlete growing up and participated in many sports, including boxing.
  • In 1925, Frida was involved in a terrible auto accident and had to spend over three months recovering in a full-body cast. Although she recovered from the injuries, she spent the rest of her life having painful relapses, which oftentimes left her bedridden.
  • After the accident, Frida began to paint and sought out artistic advice from fellow Mexican painter Diego Rivera, whom she later married. However, Frida was a self-taught artist who was well known for her self portraits and still life paintings.
  • Frida was an avid animal lover and owned dogs, cats, monkeys and birds. Her beloved pets were often painted alongside her in her self portraits.
  • Frida passed away in 1954, but her paintings did not become well-known until the early 1980s. Today, her work is recognized worldwide and her life has been portrayed in numerous books and films.

Frida Kahlo Style 2

Frida’s Style 101

  • Patterns. The most unique aspect of Frida’s style was the way she mixed different colors, patterns and textures. Although the eclectic patterns she wore together didn’t necessarily “match,” they never clashed and always created a one-of-a-kind look.
  • Statement Jewelry. Frida also loved accessorizing to the nines and always wore lots of ornate jewelry. More is more in this case, and Frida could be found wearing earrings, necklaces, bangles and rings — all at once!
  • Hair Accessories. Frida made her hair her most colorful accessory by adorning her locks with brightly colored flowers and head wraps. She even wove fabric into her braided updos! Channel Frida’s love for accessorizing her tresses by picking up a new hair accessory or two.

Outfits for Inspiration

Outfit #1

Frida Kahlo Inspired Outfit 1
Product Info: Blouse- Anthropologie, Shorts- Edge of Urge, Watch- Debenhams, Earrings-  BCBG, Sandals- Blowfish, Headwrap- Forever 21, Bracelets- H&M

Outfit #2

Frida Kahlo Inspired Outfit 2
Product Info: Shawl- H&M, Dress- Warehouse, Earrings- Max & Chloe, Sandals- Blowfish, Hair Clip- Forever 21, Ring- Mimi Boutique

Outfit #3

Frida Kahlo Inspired Outfit 3
Product Info: Tank- Delia’s, Bandeau Top- Aerie, Necklace- Anthropologie, Headband- Forever 21, Wedges- Endless, Skirt- Swell, Earrings- Miss Selfridge

What do you think?

Do you find Frida’s style inspiring? What do you think of her look? Would you wear any of these outfits? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Posted on on March 4, 2012 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , ,

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18 Responses to “A History of Style: Fashion Inspired by Frida Kahlo”

  1. 1
    March 4th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    History of style of a person I know about! Haha great post outfit 2 was my favorite :)

  2. 2
    March 4th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I love your outfit inspirations! I can actually buy pieces I like! I was wondering if you could do one on Miroslava Duma.

  3. 3
    March 4th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I love how daring these outfits are and how bold all the patterns are! Her eyebrows always bring the focus to her face, makes me realize why thicker eyebrows are back in!

  4. 4
    March 4th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I love the maxi skirt in the third outfit. And the shorts in the 1st one are so festive and cheerful. I love her eclectic style, it is so unique and inspiring.

  5. 5
    March 4th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This post was amazing!!! Love all the outfits, so colourful and unique. Thank you for your hard work and research and please keep doing posts like this!

  6. 6
    March 4th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I really like this post, especially the 1st (my favorite) and 2nd outfits. I also love the shoes and headband in the 3rd outfit! Good job, Ashley!

  7. 7
    March 4th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I just want to say that, first this is an amazing post. I love the outfits.
    And second i know this site is called collage fashion but im in high school and i read it every day. The posts are so fun and give me tons of fashion inspiration, everyday. A lot of the un-fashion posts are really helpful too even though they are directed to collage students. Keep up the great work :)

  8. 8
    March 4th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    GREAT POST! I love Frida and these outfits too. Im definitely inspired with these patterns, ive tried to mix more patterns

  9. 9
    March 4th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    These are all fantastic. They remind me a lot of Mondo (from Project Runway). He used his Hispanic heritage as the platform for colorful and print inspired outfits. I would wear all of these.

  10. 10
    March 6th, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I am studying in Mexico right now so of course I loved this post! It really captures her style and your outfits put a more modern flair on her 1930s style. great job!

  11. 11
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    She’s an inspiration on so many levels, thank you for posting this.

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