A new exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum looks to take the baton from Kahlo in celebrating the garment, partnering with Mexico City’s Museo Franz Mayer for its Made in Mexico show.
The rebozos will be starring in the exhibition celebrating the role of textiles in promoting Mexican culture to the rest of the world, spanning from the 17th century to the present day.
According to the Fashion and Textile Museum, the garment has become a symbol for many revolutionaries, artists and writers to show their Mexican culture and identity.
Kahlo’s depictions of herself in a rebozo are said to have been created as a statement of solidarity with Mexican labourers.
The Fashion and Textile Museum says, ‘Still woven using traditional techniques, the rebozo remains an important emblem of contemporary Mexican life and it is celebrated for the indigenous craft skills involved in its production.’
It adds, ‘The rebozo has…become an integral part of daily life and represents the journey from birth to death, being used as both a baby carrier as well as a shroud.’
The exhibition will be split into sections exploring the history of Mexican textiles; figures associated with the rebozo including Kahlo and musician Lila Downs; how the rebozo is used and worn; weaving techniques; and the rebozo in contemporary art and fashion.
Alongside historic rebozos, the exhibition will also feature a number of photographs by Graciela Iturbide and Lourdes Almeida, showing the garment’s use in contemporary Mexico.
Artist Mauricio Cervantes has created an installation for the exhibition that explores the use of the rebozo as a death shroud.
Around 50 other new works for the show have been created in response to the rebozo and Mexican textiles by Mexican and UK artists, photographers, fashion and textile designers including Zandra Rhodes, Kaffe Fassett Francisco Toledo, Graciela Iturbide and Carla Fernandez.
Made in Mexico runs from 6 June – 30 August at the Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF