Frida Kahlo is now considered to be one of the most talented female and Mexican artists, but her talent went largely unrecognized during her lifetime. Born in 1907 in Coyocoán, Mexico City, she married fellow artist Diego Rivera in 1929. Frida’s colourful creations sum up Mexico in many ways – vibrant, unique and feisty. Now, visitors to luxurious hotel, Andaz Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya can enjoy the full Frida’s Wardrobe Experience for themselves. Talented photographers Sol Tamargo and Matt Adcock and their team have collaborated with Andaz Mayakoba to give you a unique taster of Frida’s inimitable style – Frida’s Wardrobe Experience at Andaz Mayakoba. This eco retreat has a prime location with a beautiful white sand beach, stunning pools and striking artworks. Sol herself is known for her colourful dress sense, as well as her innovative images. The team are listed by American Photo Magazine as one of the top 10 wedding photography studios in the world and have featured on the cover of National Geographic.
I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the Frida’s Wardrobe Experience, starting in the comfort of our suite at Andaz Mayakoba. Sol was accompanied by the equally talented photographer Polly, who featured in a breathtaking underwater trash the dress photoshoot in the cenotes. These sinkholes are specific to this part of Mexico and make for spectacular photos.
Over the course of an afternoon, I had a great time with Sol and Polly who styled me up in traditional Mexican outfits with a contemporary twist. Del Sol Photography aim to reflect Andaz Mayakoba’s philosophy of expressing your own personal style. In my case, that’s anything colourful and the bright decor at Andaz fitted the mood perfectly.
I learnt that Frida Kahlo wore traditional Mexican clothing in the 1930s, when no one else was wearing it any more. When she visited the States, children asked her “Where’s the circus?”. I can’t feature her artworks here as they are copyright, but do search online for her paintings such as The Two Fridas, Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns and the Wounded Deer if you can, as their surreal intensity is something you won’t forget in a hurry.
Sol laid out a selection of her own colourful jewelery for me to choose from, layering two necklaces for maximum effect. It will soon be available to buy at Andaz. Then she styled me up with belts and a colourful headdress – great for hiding a bad hair day ;-). As I arranged it at the last minute I didn’t have the hair and make up styling that is normally included. Just imagine the shoot with the added bonus of a professional team beautifying you first – what a treat!
The light was dancing gently on our balcony as Sol and Polly captured this back shot. All photos featured here are taken by them, apart from the photograph of Frida Kahlo herself.
Polly told me that Frida had to wear body casts as she had not only suffered from polio when a child, but had a terrible bus accident as a teenager. She started painting while she was recovering, and even decorated her body casts with bright colours. In keeping with this, Sol gave me the opportunity to select from several different corsets designed by Mexican designer Claudia Bo. She also created the headpieces, having been inspired by the Tehuana style headpieces worn by Khalo. The corsets were all beautiful but the Frida Kahlo one seemed particularly appropriate for Frida’s Wardrobe Experience. They lace up at the back and therefore fit all sizes – I did breathe in a bit with it on!
Sol and Polly really know how to make anyone look good on camera, choosing the most flattering angles and natural light. They took these shots at the striking Octopus mural painted by Senkoe, a famous local artist. It’s located next to the beachside pool, with a tequila bar and a DJ spinning tunes – the epitome of cool!
They were also incredibly patient and gave me plenty of direction on how to pose. It felt like being on a Tatler or Vogue shoot thanks to the stylish backdrop of Andaz Mayakoba’s Casa Amate.
This fine dining restaurant specializes in gourmet homestyle cooking from Latin America. I’ll be writing more about the delicious food in an upcoming post.
With its velvet sofas and geometric tiles, it’s traditional yet contemporary at the same time.
A family came in whilst we were shooting and I felt a little self conscious but the little girls seemed fascinated. I had to remind myself, what would Frida do? The answer, I’m pretty sure is that she would have loved it.
I loved Frida’s Wardrobe Experience and would highly recommend it to anyone. Del Sol Photography also do family shots, weddings and much more. They’re Cultural Insiders and Brand Ambassadors at Andaz and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for Frida herself, I think we can all learn something from this powerful woman. She refused to let her physical issues limit her, achieving so much in what was then very much a man’s world. Now if I need a confidence boost, I’ll ask myself – what would Frida do? I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Frida:
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?