The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo had a great impact on fashion in the 90s, since she was the muse and inspiration for numerous designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano or Karl Lagerfield who were captivated by the colors and history of the Mexican culture.
We can appreciate a big influence of Frida and Mexican culture in Jean Paul Gaultier’s work, who discovered her paintings after Madonna, for whom he designed costumes, that showed him her art.
One of the first references to Frida Kahlo’s work came with “The Fifth Element”, a film where Gaultier was the costume designer. One of the most iconic looks, dressed by Milla Jovovich, was based on the painting “The Broken Column 1944”, a self-portrait that Frida painted with 37 years to represent the pain and suffering caused by an injury she suffered when she was young because due to a car accident.
In 1998 Gaultier presents his Spring Summer collection where we find 19 dresses inspired by Mexico. They showed three themes: Frida, Mexican wrestling and some manifestations of popular art.
An element that was repeated on the runway several times were the necklaces and crowns of thorns, extracted from Frida’s work “Self-portrait with a necklace of thorns and hummingbird 1940”, where this element represents his recent divorce with his beloved, Diego.
Last 2019 Jean Paul Gaultier in collaboration with the Anahuacalli Museum (built by Diego) presented a “Day of the Dead” offering with classic Gaultier’s signature elements.
Written by @victorespadas