I started the “Le freak c’est chic” series with Frida Kahlo. Frida doesn’t represent the most common beauty, but her life, strength and uniqueness make her number one in my list of most amazing heroines. I can completely understand that most people, especially women, will probably feel awkward in wearing a t-shirt with a woman who has a mustache and a unibrow across her face: that’s why this collection is a gift to myself…since it is not very commercial. I will be designing a series of the same type of t-shirts with different characters that I consider have the same traits that I love in people. In Frida’s case, her uniqueness.
I chose Frida to start the series because of two things. One is that her life fascinates me. Second, I am obsessed with love stories. I am always searching for some kind of approval in love, something that proves me that love is real and not just a myth. Marcela, one of my friends, sent me the letters that Frida wrote to Diego, the love of her life. I used to think that in the Hollywood movie about her life, they had exaggerated her love for him; but as I read the letters, I started to realize that she was more passionate for him than what was shown in the movie. All the photos of the letters are a courtesy of Marcela Rubiano.
*** The English translation of this letter is literal, but the actual meaning of some expressions is completely different. A good example is the use of the expression ‘Te Adoro,’ which in Spanish might be used to describe a feeling of love, adoration and worship for someone. In English, however, it is more common to use an ‘I love you’ to replace ‘Te adoro,’ ‘Te quiero’ and ‘Te amo.’***
And then this one which is an entry in her diary:
” Diego the start, Diego the builder, Diego my boy, Diego my boyfriend, Diego the painter, Diego my lover, Diego my husband, Diego my friend, Diego my mother, Diego my father, Diego my son, Diego=me. Diego Universe, Diversity in unity.”
At first I wanted to do something with the letters, but then I started to think that it would look too typical. I decided to find some pictures of her that would reflect her pain, but also her fortitude.
“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst”
This is the first sketch. To the left, a cropped image of a portrait of Frida Kahlo from Vogue Paris. To the right, my sketch before the final changes for printing. She has a Mona Lisa smile and a certain sadness in her eyes. I also love that she was Mexican and proud, and even though she was in constant contact with European and American fashion and people, she kept her heritage intact.
As I said before, this small series will be a gift to myself. I will be making 2-3 of each subject and featuring women and men just like Frida.
A funny fact about Frida> she had an affair with Josephine Baker (how amazing is that?) . Diego was never jealous of her affairs with women, but very jealous of those with men; on the other hand Frida later on in life said that her affairs with women were much more passionate…
ps. You can click on the Shop Clothing link to shop for the Frida T-shirts 😉