With spectacularly bold color and such a strong presence, the iconic Frida Kahlo never ceases to inspire us as a catalyst for incredible design, so we were pretty thrilled to see the editorial Roberta Facchini sent over for your perusal. Inspired by her painting, The Two Fridas, and the V&A’s Frida Kahlo fashion exhibit in London, Anna Fern Weddings and Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium embraced Frida’s bold Mexican identity as the passionate bride at the Horniman Museum & Gardens.
This editorial had two parts to represent the two Fridas portrayed: The well-loved Mexican artist, a shining example of perseverance and creativity, known for her feminist stance, was the inspiration for this two part shoot, based on her most famous painting Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas). Created at a pivotal point in her life, the painting depicts an expressive double self-portrait that symbolizes the artist’s contrasting, yet very separate entities. In the painting, the two distinct Fridas are linked together not only by their hands, but also by the connecting cord that travels around them.
They first based their design on the hand-embroidered ‘Frida’ dress, as crafted by top UK bridal dress designer Joanne Fleming.Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, who conceptualized this two-party shoot, created a trio of black wedding cakes for the occasion. The main cake featured a hand painted bottom tier and it was adorned with a double cascade of handmade sugar flowers, butterflies, and green leaves and berries. The two tier cake had a rose gold bottom tier and a black top tier with a hand painted parrot. The third cake featured a crackle effect and was topped with a crown of sugar roses and sugar leaves.
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. 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.
When it came to the bridal beauty, Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Makeup opted for stronger colors and an emphasis on the eyes and lips. Kasia Fortuna gave her a center part and a scarlet scarf was then woven into her hair and adorned with flowers. They added statement jewelry by Stella & Dot.
K, so the florals?! If anyone can do Frida justice, it’s gotta be Wild About. They created a dramatic tablescape featuring an overhanging canopy of roses, ranunculus, Icelandic poppies, hydrangeas, berries AND orchids, displayed right above the color-blocked table arrangements and cacti.
Can’t forget the black and neon candles! Each place setting also had a cupcake decorated with an anatomical heart as a nod to those featured in a number of paintings by Frida.Joanne Fleming Design incorporated an authentic 1920s silk shawl into the bride’s dramatic ensemble.
As if all of this wasn’t incredible enough, you can see the other half of this Frida-inspired bridal editorial (depicting a softer side) right here.
Photography: Roberta Facchini Photography / Venue: Horniman Museum & Gardens / Concept & Cakes: Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium / Design, Styling, & Coordination: Anna Fern Weddings / Flowers: Wild About / Hair: Kasia Fortuna / Makeup: Sylwia Kunysz Bridal Makeup / Bespoke Stationery: Plume Design / Furniture & Tableware: Couvert / Dresses: Joanne Fleming Design / Necklaces: Stella & Dot by Emma Riddell-Independent Stylist / Ring & Ring Box: The Exquisite Collection / Model: Nicole Andrea Da Ros