Meet: Charlie Collins
Non-stop wearing your Tatty Devine X Frida Kahlo jewellery? Us too! Inspired by the pioneering Mexican artists work and life - this official collaboration has nods to Frida Kahlo’s personal style. What better way to take a deep dive into the fashion of Frida than with Creative Wardrobe queen and author Charlie Collins? She’s recently written and released her first book, ‘Frida: Style Icon’ (keep reading to find out how you can win a copy) which celebrates the remarkable style of Frida Kahlo.
Hey Charlie, can you describe yourself in four words!
Chatterbox , excitable , curious , Virgo!
You’ve recently released your book ‘Frida: Style Icon’ - can you give us a summary?
Frida Style Icon is a celebration of Frida Kahlo's mesmerising style and an exploration into her very unique kind of fashion magic.
The book moves through her life chronologically, charting 50 of her most memorable style moments, all beautifully illustrated by the artist Camilla Perkins.
It examines the varied influences on her style , from the personal, to the painful and even the political and then explores the myriad of designers who were influenced by Frida and who, unbeknown to her, became their muse.
What is it about Frida Kahlo that inspires you?
It's her resilience and her optimism. I kept reading about how even in moments of extreme physical pain, Frida would have everyone in stitches with her wicked jokes and raucous laugh. Her honesty about how strange she felt she was, even to herself, was refreshing and so many of us have felt this sensation. She also gave herself a kind of immortal freedom by submitting to the creative process. I think it's a rare quality and one that I am fascinated by.
Which is your fave Frida look?
For me it has to be "Aztec Goddess" - Frida at her finest, wearing her beloved Traditional Tehuana dress, with flowers and ribbons piled high in the hair "that resembled the wings of a bird". The older she got, the bigger and more elaborate her hair and the more jewellery she wore. She became even more magnificent and emboldened with age and I love that about her.
In your research for the book, what was the most fascinating fact you discovered?
Frida was incredibly spiritual. She had an affinity to the divine and felt it very much in nature and with all her treasured animals that filled her childhood home of La Casa Azul. She was a mystic who drew wisdom innately, through her creative process, from ancient traditions and from the world around her.
Our recent Tatty Devine X Frida Kahlo collection nods to the artist's personal jewellery collection, in our Frida Kahlo Hand Earrings and Frida Kahlo Bird Brooch… Can you tell us about either of these pieces?
The story behind Frida's hand shaped earrings is absolutely fascinating! She was given them as a pair by Pablo Picasso in 1939 while in Paris for her first solo exhibition Mexique. When archivists finally gained access to her wardrobe (which had remained under lock and key for more than 50 years) they eventually discovered just one of her earrings in a tool box! The whereabouts of the other one is still to this day unknown. Perhaps Frida knows where it is!
Anything interesting about her relationship to jewellery?
Frida used jewellery as a kind of magical talisman and throughout her life she sought out beautiful pieces, wearing them and then giving them away as tokens of love. She loved craftsmanship but she was also partial to inexpensive jewellery from local markets and she loved to mix and match between many styles. Frida would also customise her own pieces, collecting stones to be turned into specially designed pieces or re-stringing her Aztec jadeite bead necklace herself.
We love the illustrations by Camilla Perkins, how did this collab come around?
I have long admired Camilla's work which I first noticed on my brilliant friend Georgia's emerging artists' platform, Partnership Editions. The publishers loved her work and it all fell into place. Camilla happens to live just outside Lewes too so it's really wonderful that we are both from the same area collaborating on such an exciting project. She did the most fantastic job!
Statement or subtle? STATEMENT!
Sum up your style? MAXIMALIST
Earrings or Necklaces? EARRINGS
Which other women inspire you? Emmeline Pankhurst, Beyoncè, Nöella Coursaris Musunka, Fanny Moizant, Malala, my mum, all my sisters and friends and I could go on!
Thanks, Charlie. Competition time! Head to Instagram for your chance to WIN a copy of Frida: Style Icon and Charlie’s look with a Frida Kahlo Bird Brooch and a pair of Frida Kahlo Hand Earrings…