Monday, March 21, 2011

"I love you more than my own skin" -Frida Kahlo as a Fashion Icon

So there I was, sitting in the German Studies lounge far too early in the morning for my liking, when the most magical thing happened. A back-issue of German Vogue from last year caught my eye, peeking out, as it was, from beneath an issue of Sports Illustrated. When I interned at Ralph Lauren, we had access to virtually every issue of French, Italian, British, and American Vogue ever printed, but I'd never had access to GERMAN Vogue (except during a 2-hour layover in Frankfurt last year, but I was far too busy looking at the steins).

So I picked it up, and what do I find? A Lagerfeld homage (with model Claudia Schiffer) to the vibrant styling of my favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. I cannot possibly explain how I love her. Here is a woman who gets impaled by a trolley hand-rail (which enters through her lower back and exits through her lady-parts), and can still find hilarity in the world. Her husband was Diego Rivera (referred to affectionately by Frida as "panzón"....essentially "fattie"), who cheated on her fairly consistently throughout their life together, and yet she loved him still. She was an alcoholic and a cripple. Her portraits are beauty and pain and colors you can't name. She was a feminist and a socialist, an artist, and a lover. Que cajones.

Here are two of my favorite photographs from the Vogue spread which, luckily, I managed to hunt down online:

I love the legacy coming out here- Kahlo, of course, posed for a very famous cover of French Vogue in 1940.

Anyway, as I might have said before, I have a love/hate relationship to fashion. The Ralph gig was a fluke, and though I did get a lot out of it, I know I never want to work in that industry. That being said, this is the sort of thing that makes me excited about fashion. When fashion becomes art and boundaries blur. Fashion--good fashion--to me, is when body=canvas. It's art, it's just on us instead of the wall. I maintain that one of the reasons I got the job in the first place was that there was a print of Nicole Kidman dressed in a black Ralph Lauren gown on the wall of the office where I was interviewed, and I recognized immediately that it was a recreation of John Singer Sargent's Madame X. I may not have been too handy with the flat-sketches, but I loves me some art history.

No comments:

Post a Comment