Whether you wear feathers in your hair or diamonds on your arms, your clothes and possessions say a lot about who you are. In many ways, what’s in your closet is an extension of you, much like Frida Kahlo’s hand-designed prosthetic leg, now on display at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City.
Kahlo’s personal belongings had been locked away in a bathroom by Frida’s husband after she passed away in 1954. It wasn’t until 2004 that the the room was finally unlocked for Frida fans to adore. But what makes Frida’s wardrobe so unique is the way certain items reveal how the painter used art to overcome and recover from her adversities.
Seen on display at the museum are some of Frida’s many beautifully hand painted corsets. After being in an accident that left her in a full body cast for 3 months, Frida gave her medical equipment a fashion makeover, hand painting and transforming her body casts and corsets into art. Frida’s friends said that “ the more incapacitated she became, the more elaborate her outfits were.”
Along with the corsets are long, bright, colorful dresses and skirts. Frida Kahlo wore these to hide her right leg, which was thinner than her left leg because of childhood polio. There’s even a prosthetic leg on display that Frida Kahlo designed after her leg was eventually amputated.
These personal pieces, along with many other unlocked items from Frida’s wardrobe are tangible gateways into the life and mind of the creative genius F. Kahlo. Not only do we get a chance to peer into the life of Frida, but we learn how she handled her “misfortunes,” turning pain into art.