Frida Kahlo is an iconic member of the Latino community. As an artist, she continues to inspire millions of people from around the world. She stood up for herself and her sexuality in a time when people just didn’t allow for people to be themselves. Kahlo is a controversial figure at times but, overall, she shows the world that we can do anything we want as long s we have the drive and determination to get there.
Her style is one thing everyone remembers about the artist. She was a fashion icon without trying. Everyone has seen Kahlo in her floral crowns and dresses. We also know her in her suits and cropped hair. Her drastic changes in her style were all intentional.
Frida Kahlo first started dictating her dress based on her deformities and injuries.
Kahlo was the victim of several health issues that altered her body. To hide these imperfections, Kahlo altered her clothing to create illusions that hid the physical manifestations of her health issues.
One clothing alteration Kahlo relied on was a heel on her right shoe.
As a young child, Kahlo contracted polio in her right leg. The disease, which has been largely eradicated in the world thanks to vaccinations, caused her right leg to be smaller than her left leg.
She also layered her socks to help hid her right leg.
Her ingenuity with her clothing and her vision on how to create the form she wanted you to see is very telling. Her art was something she clearly always felt.
Young Kahlo would also wear her suits to challenge society.
She refused to be defined by society and the mainstream vision of femininity and womanhood. She wanted to be defined as herself and wearing a suit provided the artist with a way to stand up for herself.
Diego Rivera was a major factor in how the artist portrayed herself to the world.
When Rivera and Kahlo were together, Kahlo wore flowers in her hair and traditional Mexican dresses. She offered Rivera what he thought was beautiful.
Kahlo’s life without Rivera saw her living as the opposite of his desires.
When Rivera, who was frequently cheating on Kahlo, was out of Kahlo’s life, she would wear suits and cut her hair short. She knew that Rivera disliked her looking like this so she intentionally did so to displease him when they were apart.
Kahlo’s style evolution was cyclical and ever-changing. She constantly blurred the line between femininity and masculinity always leaving society scratching their heads.
For National Hispanic Heritage Month, El Pollo Loco is paying tribute to lost Latino heritage in Los Angeles by restoring a series of murals across the city. Through the power of Snapchat and augmented reality, the California-based food chain is teaming up with Warren Brand, a curator and board member of Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, to have users go to five blank walls in Los Angeles where iconic murals used to be. There, you can open the Snapchat app, tap on the background to prompt the World Lenses feature and point your phone at the wall. Users will then see a mural that was once located there come to life on their phone screen. The various five mural locations can be found by visiting the website Lostmuralsla.com.
“We wanted to pay tribute to our Hispanic heritage and Los Angeles roots by preserving the lost Latino artwork and culture for a new generation to experience,” says Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer at El Pollo Loco. “For us, this is more than just a moment in time, this is part of our continued commitment to serve the communities that molded and influenced our company.
The campaign is more than just a showcase of cool technology but a way to educate and spread awareness on an issue many might not be aware of.
Los Angeles has a deep and profound history when it comes to murals. During the late 1960s and ’70s, Latino artists took to walls to express views on political and social issues, including student uprisings and civil rights struggles. This coincided with the Chicano Pride movement during that period that flourished in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.
With all this explosion of creativity happening, LA would be referred to as the “mural capital of the world,” with an estimated 2,500 murals up on city walls during the height of this movement. Then, they started disappearing. According to El Pollo Loco, “Around 60 percent of murals in Los Angeles have vanished due to whitewashing, censorship, carelessness, or a lack of resources for preservation.”
This was reason enough for the company to bring awareness to this and celebrate the legacy of these murals. Murals are also a part of the history of El Pollo Loco as the food-chain had it’s start in LA and has a mural of it’s own at it’s first store.
“Los Angeles, one of the greatest mural capitals of the world, has seen an estimated 60 percent of murals vanish experts say,” Acoca said. “Because Los Angeles has been our hometown since 1980 and is the city that inspired the soul of our brand, we want to honor it and our mutual Hispanic heritage.”
In this spirit, El Pollo Loco will also be restoring some murals of their own, including one at its original location.
While the campaign will run through October 15, El Pollo Loco will be making some permanent fixtures on LA city walls. To ensure that this restoration of murals survives, the company will be donating its own storefronts as canvases to new murals.
“El Pollo Loco is paying homage to its heritage and the art that was once on Los Angeles’ walls by donating storefronts as the canvases to new murals. The first mural will be painted on El Pollo Loco’s original restaurant location on Alvarado Street, which since opening in 1980 has featured an indoor mural depicting life in Sinaloa, Mexico, the childhood home of the company’s founder,” Acoca said.
For LA-based muralists Juan Hector Ponce and Hector “Hex” Rios, this campaign is personal to them as some of their work was once erased due to whitewashing. They both were contacted by El Pollo Loco to be a part of the project and help recreate some of their past work. Ponce and his son will be recreating a storefront as part of the campaign that will be a permanent fixture. He says that he is confident that a new generation will take a lot from this campaign and be able to lead a new era of murals in the city.
“The new generations, with use of technology and the internet, are stronger than previous generations. And those of us older painters still left are proud to see them create,” Ponce said. “While it saddens me that at times people don’t appreciate the beauty of our walls, it serves as a reminder of how important it is that we as a community continue painting more of them.
You can find the digital murals at the following locations:
“Nuestra Gente es Linda y Poderosa” – 2841 Boulder Street, Los Angeles
“Hex BBOY” – 417 East 15th Street, Los Angeles
“SK8 Still Lives” – 7753 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
It’s that time of year again—leaves are changing, brujas are cackling, and we’re all trying to figure out qué demonios to wear for Halloween. Of course, the Frida Kahlo traje is a go-to homage, especially if you want to celebrate beauty, authenticity, and creativity with your costume. Yes, her flower headdresses and flowing folk skirts are quintessentially Kahlo, but as an artist and innovator, she was always playing with her appearance.
If you want to honor the legendary artista this Halloween, here are some unique ideas that will wow Frida fans everywhere.
Genderbending Frida in her classic men’s suit
credit: kew studio / Pinterest.com
Kahlo was an artist known for taking fashion conventions and turning them on their head. She was also known to embrace androgyny, emphasizing traits that were traditionally masculine (like her unibrow and facial hair) in her prolific self-portraits. She may be remembered for long braids, dangly earrings, and floral designs, but her openness to her masculine side made Frida who she was—and that’s also worth remembering.
Opt for a slick suit that does the queen justice
For the ultimate boyish Frida look, try a cream-colored tailored suit (snag a tie and vest from a bf or bro). Top it off with a slicked-back bun and filled-in brows! Satin Double Breasted Suit Jacket, $89, asos.com
Androgynous Frida, but with a feminine twist
credit: Smithsonian / Pinterest.com
Can’t get enough of that androgynous Frida vibe? We can’t, either. If you’re aiming for a slightly more casual look, you’ve probably got all the goods in your closet already. Pull on some dark jeans, a classy button-up, and a pair of bold earrings for a simple yet artsy ensemble, fit for Frida herself.
Choose an ornate necklace to spice it up
Want to dress the look up a bit without being too flashy? Add a splash of glam with a vintage statement necklace to keep it quick and easy, but with a more refined look. Handmade Bib Statement Necklace, $32, etsy.com
Frida kicking back on the terraza
Even in cool and casual linen digs, Frida exuded total elegance and grace. You’re hoping to embody her complete badassery in comfy, warm, flattering clothes, right? Then this soft, unassuming getup should be your go-to. You may feel like you’re in your pajamas (YAS), but slip on some high-heeled gaucho boots and you’ve got yourself an edgy look!
Wear a stylish linen tunic that lets accessories shine
Whether you opt for classic cowboy boots or sexy stilettos, your linen tunic will be a perfect canvas for the finer details of your outfit. Plus, it’s the kind of thing you can wear again and again, even after Halloween’s over! Long Black Linen Tunic Top, $69, etsy.com
Frida in all her gothic glamour
credit: theguardian.com / Pinterest.com
Okay, okay, finally something fancy! In addition to her characteristically colorful wardrobe, Frida could rock a demure and minimalist style. This look is not only chic—but lace and black velvet both totally fit the aura of the spooky season, making it a perfect option for any costume party.
Choose a shawl like Frida’s, with delicate details
Frida’s frocks were always intricately crafted, often showing off meticulous, thoughtful flourishes. If you’re planning to mimic this classic black look, be sure to snag a garment that has a little something special, like this shawl with floral pattern and fringe. Black Burnout Robe with Fringe, $86, amazon.com
Frida…with a doily on her head
credit: Artsy.net / Pinterest.com
Frida was an artist, and artists often go to strange lengths to express themselves. She is not only wearing a cute AF sweater in this photo—a cropped cardigan would be a great substitute, btw—but she has adorned her head with…not flowers, not fabric, but paper? Lace? What is a doily, anyway?
In Mexico, papel picado is used to adorn all sorts of Mexican fiestas, and at the end of the day, it’s essentially a doily. If you’re looking to infuse your costume with a bit of symbolism—and you’re into the whole DIY approach to Halloween—consider using papel picado to achieve this playful look! Since she was a Mexican artist, incorporating this tradition into your outfit would add another layer of depth to your Kahlo tribute. Plus, you can emulate her even further as you flex those creative, crafty muscles! Beautiful Dreamy White Papel Picado Banner, $29, etsy.com
Frida in traditional Tehuana dress
credit: messynessychic.com / Pinterest.com
Widely regarded as quintessential Mexican dress, Frida was particularly fond of the Tehuana traje, with its ornate huipiles and full skirts. Native to Oaxaca, the Tehuana traje is symbolic of a largely matriarchal society, commanding a sense of deep respect and feminine power.
Tehuana women don these gorgeous outfits to loudly and proudly celebrate a wide variety of velas (traditional fiestas)—so it’s probably not a good idea to try imitating their traditional fashion. However, you can purchase authentic Mexican-made Tehuana garments at this Etsy shop, in other online stores, and (duh) in Tehuantepec!
Regardless of which Frida look you choose, use this Halloween as a way to honor her groundbreaking history. ¡Te queremos, Frida!
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