There’s no denying that famed 20th century Mexican painter Frida Kahlo lived with an It factor that still continues to permeate pop culture today. Selma Hayek Pinault’s dramatic 2002 portrayal of the late feminist figure (who died in 1954) landed her an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in Frida. And the New York Botanical Garden meticulously decorated its conservatory with period works of art and floral arrangements that highlighted the artist’s vitality in Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, an exhibit that the museum showcased in 2015.
Now, Mexico City- and Madrid-based fashion journalist Susana Martinez Vidal has put the pieces to the puzzle together in Assouline’s new book, Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being ($195; assouline.com). Housed within a brightly colored neon pink and bright blue cover and slipcase, the pages of this new title, perfect for your latest colorful coffee table addition, are filled to the brim with imagery that highlight just how much style Kahlo had. Across the selection, which begins with a foreword written by journalist Lynn Yaeger, you’ll find archival imagery of the figure’s at-home life, wardrobe predilections, and, of course, the self-portraits she’s so beloved for.
It includes a roster of recreated pieces that have run across editorials in international fashion magazines and also showcases how Kahlo has inspired designers and pop culture figures (think Madonna and the late Amy Winehouse) in their work. Here, a selection of photos from the book that truly do pop.
FANCIFUL ATTIRE (ABOVE)
This image from 1940 finds Kahlo dressed in a traditional Tehuana dress, which women in and near Tehuantepec, Mexico, wore.