Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The MAYA & RUHI Frida Kahlo Collection

I have always been a fan of the unique style of Frida Kahlo's work. And while reading into her life, I discovered that she was a real "staunch character", who created her own world, her own style, her own visual vocabulary for her work.

As a public figure, she was strong, fiery, full of colour and passion. But inside, she was also terribly fragile, and always expressed this vulnerability in the most capable of ways.

I have had immense fun working on this collection, and only hope it would have done Frida herself proud. Here, in celebration of her life and work, are some pieces from the MAYA & RUHI Frida Kahlo Collection.

Clockwise from top:

"Adriana" earrings - named after one of Frida's sisters.

"Tina" earrings - named after Tina Modotti the famous photographer, who was Frida's close friend, collaborator, and rumoured lover.

"Cristina" earrings - named after Frida's sister, who later on had an affair with Frida's husband, Diego.

“Self Portrait with Necklace”, 1933

This painting was done during her stay in America with her famous painter husband, Diego Rivera. She had suffered a miscarriage, and was finding comfort in her work. Here, she depicts herself as fresh, yet delicate, in a very soft and feminine light.

"Today & Tomorrow" choker

Today & Tomorrow” is an updated and blinged-up version of the necklace that Frida wears in the above self-portrait. It is named after a gritty Diego Rivera mural depicting the Revolution, in which Frida, her sister Cristina, with her two children, posed for.

"Mirada" earrings - "Mirada" means "gaze" in Spanish. These are gorgeous slices of amazonite, with natural mottles, full of character.


"Lagrima" earrings - "Lagrima" means tears in Spanish. Lovely pieces of royal blue lapis lazuli, with flecks of gold.

The "Viva la Frida" earrings.

Frida Kahlo, sporting one of her signature chunky pre-Columbian pieces, with her husband, Diego Rivera.

Viva la Frida”, or “Long Live Frida”, is my tribute to Frida Kahlo’s passion. The earrings are my signature Chic and Unique hoops, decked with Frida-esque colour combos, while the chokers echo the organic look that Frida so loved.

The "Viva la Frida" chokers.

In carnelian, sodalite, and dalmatian jasper.

"Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns", 1940

"Necklace of Thorns" choker

Self Portrait "Time Flies", 1929

"Time Flies" choker in faceted onyx and pink agate.

"Time Flies" choker in turquoise nuggets and pink agate.

The form if these chokers are directly inspired from the one Frida wears in her painting “Time Flies”. This was a relatively early piece of work, and as an artist, her sense and style of realism was already quite established. This necklace she wears is one of her favourites, and is depicted several times in other paintings. There are also quite a few photographs of her with it.
Frida favoured the dramatic organic look of her pre-Columbian pieces of jewelry, which had an archaic air. I have adapted the form, and have updated the look, pairing the faceted onyx and smooth turquoise, with the raw look of the pink agate.

"Self Portrait with Cropped Hair", 1940

“Self Portrait with Cropped Hair” was done during her divorce from Diego Rivera. In the painting, she has cut off all her hair, symbolic of womanly beauty, and has donned a dark and heavy man’s suit. She was renouncing all the feminine attributes that she felt Diego loved so much of her.

"Pelo" earrings, in pink, champagne and black Swarovski pearls.

“Pelo” means “hair”, and the “Pelo” earrings look very much like the ones Frida wears in this self-portrait. I also love how the inflections in the rutilated quartz look like wisps of hair.

"Self Portrait as a Tehuana", 1943

This self portrait, Frida is in traditional Tehuana dress, which Diego was very fond of for her. It originates from southwest Mexico, and is a matriarchal society in which women play very dominant roles. The image of Diego on her forehead shows that he is constantly in her thoughts. The roots from the bouquet on top of her head branches out in a spiderweb fashion, suggesting that in her wish to “trap” Diego for herself, she is in actuality herself trapped.

"Tehuana Thoughts" choker

The “Tehuana Thoughts” choker is directly inspired by this painting. I love how I stumbled upon this batch of uniquely shaped banded amethysts. So gorgeous! And it is as if it’s kismet. The shape, and even the colour tone, is so complementary of the painting.

Frida relaxing on the patio of The Blue House, 1950

“La Casa Azul”, or “The Blue House”, is Frida Kahlo’s family home. She was born and raised here, within its humble and comfortable walls. It was here that she had a happy childhood, and here that she convalesced after the accident, and discovered her passion for painting.

After her father died in 1941, Frida and Diego (who had by then remarried) moved into The Blue House to set up studio. Towards the end of her life, Frida had to conduct art lessons from here, because she was in too much pain to travel to the University where she taught.

Frida died on 13 July 1954, in The Blue House. Diego Rivera, later in his autobiography, wrote that the day she died, was the most tragic day of his entire life, and that he realised too late, that the most wonderful part of his life was his love for her, and vice versa.

When Diego Rivera died in 1957, he bequeathed The Blue House to the Mexican nation. Today, The Blue House is a museum of Frida Kahlo’s life and art. Many of the things have been left as they were and are kept in pristine condition, a vivid reminder of who Frida Kahlo was, and what she was all about.

"The Blue House" choker

“The Blue House” choker is of a stunning piece of blue banded agate, wrapped in a signature Chic and Unique way, with luscious faceted phantom glass. I am particularly proud of this piece because of from where it is inspired. The Blue House was Frida Kahlo’s from the beginning to the end of her life, full of pain, passion and beauty.

Earrings are on a VERY limited run, and chokers are all ONE piece only. 'Coz now I am busy working on the next collection! ;) If you are in KL, you can contact Rachel for more info on availability.

And one more time, all together now...


  1. Pearl, these are gorgeous! i love every single piece.

  2. Hi Katie! So good to hear from you! Hope all is well. Thanks so much for loving the collection! :D

  3. ho preso spunto per fare un quadro...grazie

  4. www.margheritaarrighi.com venite a vedere quando l'avrò finito...