V&A - Frida Kahlo:
Making Her Self Up

18th June 2018

We are honoured to be the sole suppliers of bespoke mannequins and bust forms for Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition presents an extraordinary collection of personal artifacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

The hand-crafted mannequins were created in Frida’s image with recognisable features, such as her braided hair and iconic brow, but steer away from real-life overly realistic representation, to allow the exhibits to take centre stage. Figures were finished in grey papier-mâché to reflect the stoic appearance of her self-portraits and complement her flamboyant clothing. “We wanted a mannequin that would suggest Frida as a somehow timeless figure, who was here but not here, that feeling of being present but not present,” explained Claire Wilcox, Senior Co-Curator.

Two seated mannequins, created from tailored moulds, re-enact the scene from one of Frida’s most notable paintings, The Two Fridas; herself and her double, holding hands, with exposed hearts connected by a shared artery. Unlike the artwork, the recreation offers more decorum. There are no exposed hearts nor blood on the immaculately conserved clothes that are on display outside of Mexico for the first time. 

17 mannequins, made to Frida’s petite proportions and stature, stand alongside one another in the grand finale; a posthumous fashion parade of her stunning Mexican wardrobe. Each pose required careful consideration to ensure that the ‘army of Fridas’ worked as a composition. The figures' trademark hand positions seen in Frida’s work, draw attention to the artists's previously locked away, remarkable wardrobe. 

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up is at the V&A until 18 November.

View our RAW female mannequins here

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