LP8: Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving



  1. Designer:Barco de Mexico Diego & Frida
  2. Name of the Artifact:Lace Headress and skirt
  3. Origin: Mexico
  4. Season/Year:Before 1954
  5. Function – This dress is a wedding dress,  bride wear this form to get married at church.
  6. Fabrication – The dress is made by lace, cotton and ribbon by using needle skill.
  7. Form –Its one of the defining accessories of the distinctive clothing worn by the women of techolotepe.


  1. Designer(s) / Creator:Frida Kahlo
  2. Name of the Artifact:Necklace
  3. Origin:Mexico
  4. Season/Year:1900-1950
  5. Function –Frida Kahlo wore it while working.
  6. Fabrication – The necklace made by using jade, highly prized by societies
  7. Form – Kahlo’s bead are most likely to have come from burial sites in southeastern Mexico.


  1. Designer(s) / Creator:Worn by Frida
  2. Name of the Artifact;European-style blouse
  3. Origin:Mexico
  4. Season/Year:1930-37
  5. Function – This dress is designed for Kahlo,she worn this piece when she was photographed by Toni Frissell for vogue.
  6. Fabrication – Kahlo mixed a high-neck blouse made in the European style with a Ramona skirt, which has a pleated flounce of the same material.
  7. Form – The dress come from Mexico and made in the European style with a Ramona skirt, shows that the style of fashion at that time.


I chose ‘lace headdress and skirt’ and ‘self-portrait as Tehuana or Diego on my mind’. The ‘lace headdress and skirt’ is a traditional item of Tehuantepec, a south Mexico region. This item was created before 1954 but the creator was unknown and the material is lace. ‘Self-portrait as Tehuana or Diego on my mind’ is created by Frida Kahlo in 1943. The material is oil on hardboard. In the painting, Frida Kahlo is wearing the lace headdress. The lace headdress and skirt should be wear in formal occasions such as church ceremonies, weddings and etc. The purpose of the wearing the headdress in the painting was probably refer to a wedding, because the painting was related to another portrait called the ‘Crowned nun’. Some people believe the ‘Crowned nun’ portrait the engagement between a nun and Jesus. Frida Kahlo probably indicated her engagement or wedding to Diego in ‘self-portrait as Tehuana or Diego on my mind’. Although the headdress was the same kind in both artworks, there are slight differences between them. The flower decorations in the wearable piece are gold but they were in yellow, purple and green in the painting. The headdress in Frida’s painting is more detailed and delicate than the actual headdress piece.


Part3 Reflection:

The experience to the exhibition of Frida Kahlo was very meaningful to me. I was amazed by her painting when I first entered the exhibition. The most memorable moment is when I saw the photographs of Frida Kahlo by the end of the exhibition, and I was moved by her beauty, the dresses she was wearing and the emotion that was within the photographs. I was surprised to know that Frida Kahlo’s right leg was disabled. Frida Kahlo used lots of metaphors and symbols in her artworks and most of them were related to her nation of Mexico. This really inspired me and made me want to add metaphors or symbols of my origin to my bridge projects 3-4-5.

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