Saturday, October 17, 2009

Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress

I have this wonderful book after waiting for for two years.  Frida's personal wardrobe was sealed in a dressing room after her death and was to remain sealed until 50 years after the death of Diego Rivera, in 2007.  Now the room has been opened and the exciting work of curatorship and restoration has progressed to reveal these incredible garments.  Frida wore the native dress of her land, but also wore garments from China and Guatemala.  And she had some marvelous shoes, handwoven and embroidered handbags, and brilliant ribbons for her headdress.  It's especially exciting to compare, for instance, the Tehuana headress she actually wore to the one she painted in "Diego in My Thoughts," and see just how masterful a painter she was.  As Diego had said, "you are the only one who has painted the life of a woman from inside," yet her clothing, still scented with her cigarettes and perfume when found, vividly brings her to life, so much so that I dreamed of Frida one night after sitting up late pouring over this sumptuous treat of a book.  It's a fine companion to the biographies written by the contributors.  Recommended reading.  And now, I shall don my huipil!  A mujer doesn't have to wait until Dias de los Muertos to enjoy such comfort and luxury.  [Amazon has the best price:]

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