Dylan. Lipstick, Powder, and Paint #6

I have posted an image of Dylan as Frida before from this same photoshoot. This one was not the original one I decided to use. When I looked again, I think this one is stronger. This is the last picture I took of Dylan. I took it the summer before this past one. Dylan got back from Los Angeles, and I got back from a long stay at the beach. That summer I was getting things ready for us to be gone for 6 months on our big Mexican adventure. I was pretty focused on that, and Dylan had a lot going on, too. One thing was a film that he was working on with his friend Bralyn Stokes, “Silas.” I spent some time with them around the movie, and I even had a walk-on part.Part of it was shot at our house. That was fun. I was cast as a woman in a bookstore, giving Dylan a dirty look because his character was making too much noise. If you get a chance to catch a showing of that movie, check it out.

Dylan and I did get some time  to act on one last idea of mine…to make him up and shoot him like Frida Kahlo. I was all about Frida after spending some time in Oaxaca, and Dylan was game for anything. As always, Dylan used his own hair, I did his makeup and I had a great Mexican dress for him to wear. Frida wore lots of jewelry, and loved flowers in her hair.

After we finished the shoot, which we did one afternoon, we went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. No, Dylan didn’t keep the dress on, but he should have. He did wear the makeup. I hadn’t heard from Dylan in a while, but this series of posts has re-connected us. He sent me one of the Marc Jacobs ads that he was recently featured in. Dylan is the gorgeous one on the right. With the legs.

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Feliz Cumpleaños, Frida Kahlo

Today is the birthday of Frida Kahlo, a great artist, feminist, and revolutionary. Frida Kahlo influenced the style of the women of Mexico and her image appears everywhere.  Her self-portraits are not only in renowned international art museums, they also appear on teeshirts, purses, beach towels, bolsas, and sarongs. She is elevated to near sainthood in Mexico. Rather ironic that a radical feminist is lifted up as an icon in a country that thrives on machismo. And, there you have it, another thing on my long list of things to love about Mexico.

The mother and daughter in this photo are two of the most interesting that I saw on our recent trip to Oaxaca. They have a store in the Centro that is named Juana Cata. The son of this family has another store on a different street, Los Baúles de Juana Cata. This store is quite famous and presents some of the finest textiles in Mexico. The mother’s store carries less expensive things, but is like going into the closet of Frida Kahlo herself. Frida was greatly influenced, not just by the politics of Juana Catalina Romero, but also by her fashion (as were most of the women of Tehuantepec, Juana Cata’s hometown near the coast). Frida began to dress in the style that Juana Cata had developed to show solidarity with the women of the Isthmus of Oaxaca.

And so, on Frida’s birthday, I send her good wishes. But, I also think about this interesting mother and daughter, who carry the flame of individual expression, and promote the fashion of their beautiful state. They keep the spirit of Juana Catalina alive, and also the spirit of Frida. And, if you visit the town of Tehuantepec today, you will find a matriarchy, all for the love of Juana Cata.

Juana Cata…Immortalized by a Huge Statue

Juana Catalina
This enormous metal statue of Juana Catalina Romero, the heroine of Tehuántepec, known simply as Juana Cata.

This statue stands guard at the entrance of Tehuántepec, a small town in southern Oaxaca. Juana Cata was a woman of power and of fashion. Her style inspired the looks of Frida Kahlo, and the women of southern Oaxaca still dress in the same manner, an homage to her memory and to feminism in Mexico. She devoted herself to helping the people of Tehuántepec, and her legend lives on there. This statue celebrates the woman who was romantically involved with, and strongly influenced, Presidente Porfirio Diaz during the Mexican Civil War. Her presence was so powerful that the town of Tehuántepec remains a matriarchy and women rule the town.