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Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 18, 2008


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, June 18, 2008
$135.00 $121.52

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811863441
  • ASIN: B0032FO5S8
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,156,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carlos Phillips Olmedo is director of the Blue House Museum.

Denise and Magdalena Rosenzweig are textile restorers.

Teresa del Conde is an author and art historian.

Marta Turok is an author and anthropologist.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
Very interesting book, beautifully illustrated, well-written text.
J. Samson
This is a lovely book that is about Frida Kahlo as much as it is about her clothing.
Pamela Ovens
It also gives a very personal view and insight of the life of a great artist.
J. Burgess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A. Jacobus on June 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Apparently in 1954, the year Frida passed away, Diego Rivera had her dressing room and bathroom at the Casa Azul locked, with the stipulation that it could be opened 50 years later. In 2004 the day came to unlock the room, and discover its contents. This book explores those contents, which included many of Fridas clothes, hair ribbons, medical devices, linens, etc. Its an amazing archeological discovery of sorts. A time capsule that reveals much about the day to day life of what has become one of the most influential women artists in history. Lavish color photographs of her clothing, paired with photos and paintings in which they appear; a treasure for those passionate about the life, art and fashion of Frida Kahlo. Really destined to become a personal favorite.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Burgess on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for anyone interested in the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Her muralist husband Diego Rivera had Kahlo's bedroom sealed immediately on her death and requested that the room not be opened for fifty years. Their house became a museum devoted to Kahlo and the curator honoured Rivera's wishes and the room was left sealed for the full fifty years. At the end of that time it was decided that the clothing and other things inside the room should be rescued and preserved and the room was opened. The story that follows is fascinating as the people that did the restoration tell their stories of what they found and the feelings they had on being the first to enter and see the clothing that became Kahlo's trademark look.
The photos are lovely and were shot on site at Kahlo's house. Photos of Kahlo in the garments are also included as well as descriptions of where the pieces would have come from in Mexico and what they are made of. This is an interesting read for fans of Kahlo and Rivera, anyone interested in the clothing of Mexico, and those who enjoy reading how a bit of history was preserved. It also gives a very personal view and insight of the life of a great artist. I can't recommend this one enough! It's my favourite book in my Frida Kahlo collection.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pam Drapala on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo

This book is fill with bright colors and amazing details of Frida's wardrobe. The book not only shows and describes the clothing, shoes, jewelry that Frida wore, it also shows rooms of her home which give one a look into her life. By reading and viewing this book, a part of Frida's life is revealed like it has never been done before. I give this book, five stars out of five.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maureen T. Sullivan on February 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Time and again I open this glorious book to lift my spirits and for inspiration with anything having to do with color or style. Elegantly bound and designed, "Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress" shows a woman who celebrated her life with the native fabrics and brilliant colors of her native Mexico. An artist in everything she touched, this book inspires me every time I pick it up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Juan Llano Rocamora on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Magnífica obra que muestra con fotografías y lúcidos textos las obsesiones de una de las artistas más importantes del s. XX Frida Kahlo, quien a pesar de su atormentada vida supo con el color y la gracia de su indumentaria legarnos una alegría y pasión por la vida admirables. En las notables fotografías del fotógrafo Pablo Aguinaco descubrimos la inusitada faceta de una artista excepcional. Las imágenes logradas con un gusto y acierto exquisito, nos conducen por la Casa Azul, morada de Frida y despliegan colores, texturas y luces, para todos aquellos interesados en esta gran artista.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terry Weiss on June 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book to me and I would recommend it to anyone who loves fabulous clothes, who loves Frida Kahlo, or who loves color and fabrics. It is simply a feast to look at, and interesting to read if you can pull your eyes away from the photos.

When Frida Kahlo died, Diego Rivera had her wardrobe sealed for 50 years. It's now been opened and two women have been restoring the fabrics so the clothes can be seen as they once were.

I thought it was particularly wonderful that the authors showed the clothing next to the paintings or photographs that showed Frida wearing that particular piece. She painted herself wearing her own garments - or at least they were on hangers in her paintings. In other cases, she was photographed wearing garments that are in the collection. It feels so intimate to see the clothing and art in juxtaposition. It makes you want to completely redo your wardrobe in similar style.

Just a love of a book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Porter on June 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book - Frida's clothing is rich in colour and texture, and the numerous photographs capture these qualities incredibly well. While I'm glad to include it in my collection of art books, I can only give it 3 stars for the following reasons:

1) It is poorly organized. None of the pictures is numbered, so when the authors reference a particular article of clothing it's difficult to refer back to the photo of that article - you have to flip through the book looking for it. At times it's not even clear if there even is a photo of the item under discussion! There's really no excuse for that - there are existing conventions for referencing pictures and illustrations in written work.

2) The intro is quite meandering, and doesn't really stick to a theme; you'd almost thing the author didn't know what kind of book the introduction was meant for, and so just wrote a bunch of stuff about Frida.

3) There was some excellent introductory level information about the various kinds of ethnic dress in Mexico, but I think a better job could have been done relating all of that back to Frida and her work, as well as the social and political context in which she lived. At times the fact that Frida's specific wardrobe was the genesis of this book seemed besides the point.

Having said all that, this really is a stunningly beautiful book, and it does provide interesting insights into the more personal aspects of Frida's day to day life. Were it not for the issues noted above (particularly the first one), I would have given it 4 stars.
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