In recognition of her Mexican identity, Frida often mixed embroidered Tehuana dresses (originally worn by women from the Tehuantepec region of South Mexico) with Huipil blouses (Mayan in source: each pattern spinning its own, specific story), Rebozo scarves, and any number of fabrics from both China and Europe.See Part One here: Many of these garments had strong associations with powerful women or particular manifestations of femininity. Alongside the obvious aesthetic pleasure they provided, this was a highly charged, symbolic uniform, speaking to Kahlo’s heritage and gender, whilst also allowing for a certain amount of myth-making. They gave her room to tell stories about herself in fabric, as well as paint.
The starting point for this shoot was the hand embroidered and rich ‘Frida’ dress expertly crafted by top UK bridal dress designer Joanne Fleming. Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium worked with Anna of Anna Fern Weddings for the planning and styling to create the very vibrant, colourful and luxurious shoot which took place in the ideal setting of the light and airy conservatory of The Horniman Museum and Gardens.
Joanne is famous for her use of colour, texture and embroidery in bridal gowns and the dress she created in black with red embroidered flowers fitted the bill perfectly. She paired it with an authentic 1920s silk shawl which added a sense of drama. The hair and make up was by the amazing duo of Kasia Fortuna and Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Make Up respectively. They went for stronger colours on the model, with emphasis on the eyes and lips. The hair style featured a center parting and a scarlet scarf was woven into her hair and finished with flowers in the trademark Frida style. The bold statement jewellery was by Stella & Dot, kindly provided by Emma Riddell -Independent Stylist, while The Exquisite Collection supplied the most extremely beautiful and feminine emerald green ring in a unique presentation box.
Very bold colours were also used to create a dramatic tablescape by the renowned florists Wild About. An overhanging tree canopy made up of red and dark pink roses, yellow ranunculi, Icelandic poppies, dark pink hydrangeas, green berries and cerise Phalaenopsis orchids shaded the table wonderfully. On the table were beautiful groupings of block colours of flowers mixed with cacti and gold candlesticks topped with neon pink, green and black candles.
The cross back chairs, wooden table, black china, coloured glasses and cutlery were from Couvert, whilst the specially created stationery was supplied by Plume Design. Each place setting also had a cupcake decorated with a realistic anatomical heart, in reference to those featured in a number of paintings by Frida.
In addition to the cupcakes, Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium also created a trio of cakes in black. The main cake featured a hand painted bottom tier and it was adorned with a double cascade of hand made multicoloured sugar flowers, sugar butterflies and sugar green leaves and berries, to match the florals. The second two tier cake had a rose gold bottom tier and a black top tier with a hand painted parrot. The third cake, single tiered featured a crackle effect and was topped with a crown of sugar roses and sugar leaves.