Friday, July 13, 2012

On The Shelf:
"Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress"

 
"One's wardrobe reveals one's politics;
it is the story one lives by;
it is one's symbolic self "



The latest addition to the ID BOHEMIA library is "Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress - Frida's Wardrobe", a book we discovered in the airport on our way home from a trip to San Francisco. Though I wouldn't presume to judge anyone by the clothes they wear, I've long believed that paying attention to a person's taste, style and how they choose to present themselves, can provide valuable insight into how that person thinks, and how they understand themselves and the world around them. There are many books on Frida's paintings, but as far as I know, this is the first and only book on Frida's wardrobe.

I first became intrigued by Frida's art and fashion choices after seeing Julie Taymor's "Frida". In an interview I later read about the film, Julie Weiss, the costume designer, mentioned several pairs of earrings she'd found in the Mexican open air markets: drop earrings in gold and silver, some with little skulls and bones. Weiss added that Frida would never have worn such earrings in real life, as she viewed her style very politically and preferred traditional Mexican jewellery. That is, antique and vintage necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings favoured by people indigenous to Mexico.

 I can't say much about the book yet, as I plan to read it this weekend. Suffice it to say, though, I always look forward to time in the sun with a good book. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I plan to.

Have you read this book already? Send me an email! I'd love to hear your thoughts.



Edit:

Though this isn't the interview I was referring to, here is another article on the politics of Frida's fashion:
http://www.banderasnews.com/0608/art-fridakahlo.htm.



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