20 Dec Frida Kahlo Birthday Party
October birthdays are the coolest! For those who aren’t the biggest fans of Halloween, we have thought up our very own Frida Kahlo party, a Frid’Halloween birthday! A guaranteed Day of the Dead atmosphere !
t-25 This year, the theme of the party is an artist who made her life her art. Frida Kahlo. A lot of pressure, coupled with eternal gratitude to my 9-year-old daughter, who chose the theme herself.
t-25 continued – Time to choose the invitations. I debate making them myself… But predicting the outcome, I decide to stick with pre-made invitations, and tell myself that knowing your limits is a bit like knowing yourself! Anyway, the Mathilde Cabanas invitations are an ode to Frida.
t-20 I have the invitations. Louise asks me to fill them in and then let her deal with the envelopes. So I do just that. A few hours later, I notice a self-portrait on each of the envelopes, surrounded by little drawings which are to my eyes surreal, but to her eyes perfectly appropriate… Obviously, she has mastered the work of Frida Kahlo.
t-17 Recovering from the shock of the self-portraits, it’s time to focus on what you’re going to do. If you are on this page, that means that you have decided to do everything yourself, and the good news is that this list covers everything that you could possibly think of, and therefore allows you to make your own to-do list!
t-15 continued – I read the biography of Frida so that I know a bit more about her, but I soon realise that the biography is, in fact, a thesis. A few hundred pages later, and I am beyond a master. I know everything about her, and it’s like whatever happens in her head, happens in mine too. To the point of hating Diego Rivera…
t-10 At this point, I normally choose my outfit. This time round, this isn’t necessary due to a change that I didn’t notice. I wear colourful, flowy skirts that are tight at the waist, boots, bright and fitted tops, and lots of jewellery. It’s like I’m straight off the Saint-Laurent runway. Obviously, I have stopped plucking my eyebrows and dying my moustache. And obviously, this isn’t to everybody’s tastes. I am Frida.
t-9 I realise that organising a birthday party is a bit like adapting to a character role. I’ll share this exciting discovery with Gabriella, my business partner, who also loves to theorise.
t-7 As I couldn’t have a parrot, a fawn, a dog, and a chicken in my appartment, I spend my Saturday at Deyrolle. I try to explain to my husband that the stuffed beast is a work of art, and therefore a wise investment. However, he tries to explain to me that the cost of the beast is obscene, even for an investment.
t-1 evening – in my kitchen – I prepare everything that can be done in advance. I make the shortbread dough, I bake my cake (a pound cake), and I cover it with some icing. I prepare some tissue paper flowers to decorate my cake with and to show the girls as an example for one of the DIY activities.
t-1 – still the evening – Now in my living room – I set up most of my decorations. This is where it gets a bit more difficult. I launch myself into crazy decoration mode. I imagine myself in Frida’s Mexico. The one of her childhood, the one of big village festivals. I set up a ceiling of bunting, and in the middle of the garlands I hang a pinata. One in the shape of a star, just like in the traditional festivals.
9:00AM – I wake up by Louise yelling in delight. She is stunned by the decoration. I must say that it is honestly surprising! She doesn’t come back. Me, on the other hand, my neck is a bit sore. Let’s not beat around the bush: I have a bad neck. At the same time, however, spending two hours on a ladder sticking garlands to the ceiling certainly leaves its mark! I get out my neck brace. I’m even more in tune with Frida.
9:05AM – And like Frida, I keep on going. There are a few more things to do. I start with the party bags: They seem a bit light, but it’s ok because I have planned plenty of DIY activities for the children to bring their creations home with them.
11:00AM – Louise makes flower-shaped shortbread. Once they are out of the oven, I add a mexican skull or a candy strawberry. I spread out the sugar paste, which Louise then transforms into little flowers for decorating the cake. Next, I add some cactus candles. We set the table as our work surface, which will be used for all of the activities. Louison scatters some flowers and sets out everything that the girls will need for the DIY acitivities.
1:00PM – We have a picnic next to the table and work surface, limited in space as they are already set out perfectly…
2:00PM – We only have an hour to go. I transform Louise into Frida herself. I lend her my clothes, I alter them a bit, and I do her make-up. It’s Frida. It’s crazy, and a bit scary. I put on a white Mao-collared shirt and some big overalls. I am Diego. Ahahaha. Nobody expected such a turnaround. She loved him dearly, so I can put in a bit of effort.
3:00PM – Everyone is here! (Louise has only invited girls). None of them know who Frida Kahlo is, so they aren’t dressed up. I welcome them in and explain to them how the afternoon is going to work: We are all going to play together and discover the beautiful work of an amazing artist!
3:05PM – They are won over from the very beginning. It was enough for them to see Louise’s costume for them to be interested. I explain to them that there are some women who use their voices, who see and present themselves differently. Strong and powerful women. Women who are now icons. I show them some pictures and explain to them briefly the life of Frida Kahlo. I also explain to them a little bit about Mexican folklore (to justify my crazy decorations), and the passion of the artists in the 30s, to highlight the national savoir-faire (this is to justify all of the activities that I have planned).
3:10PM – Girls, sit yourself around the table for the first activity. We’re going to make a floral shawl. While you are doing this, I am going to tattoo you one after another and show you photos of traditional Mexican outfits.
3:35PM – To waken you up a bit, and since your hands are tattooed, let’s play Stacking hands. The game becomes a bit of a performance!
3:40PM – We are going to do a second activity, to make a flower crown just like the ones in Frida’s self-portraits. While you make these, I am going to put some make-up on your eyebrows, cheeks and lips to make you look just like her.
4:00PM – Let’s take a break from DIY. Shall we play ‘Who am I?‘? Sit yourselves down on the ground.
4:10PM – A new DIY activity. Frida wore lots of jewellery: She adored it! Therefore, we’re going to make a big necklace.
4:30PM – It’s finally snacktime!
4:45PM – Take all of your accessories: We’re going to do a Photobooth with the flower crown, shawl, necklace, make-up and tattoos! I touch up the make-up for those who have rubbed it off. You all look amazing!!
5:15PM – Do you want to dance?! I want you to come up with a folklore choreography. I’ll give you some Mexican music: Lindo y Quirido to create a bit of atmosphere? No need to thank me, it’s a gift. I am loving and kind.
5:40PM – Frida’s key feature was herself because she said that it was the subject that she knew the most. So that she knew herself even better, she tried to understand where she came from; her origins. One of her works was called My grandparents, my parents and me. Here it is. I want you to make your very own family tree! So, you will need to draw your own portraits and self-portrait. You can use your imagination to draw some details that only make sense to you. Frida painted some symbols which are said to be surreal, but they make sense and have significance for her.
5:55PM – The presents!!!
6:00PM – The parents are all here and surprised to find their little girls completely transformed into Frida Kahlo. I return them safely to their different parents. I would like to think that they are now a bit more aware of the women that they are becoming – I’m so proud!
Friendly advice : I did this for Louise’s 9th birthday party. It was fantastic: One of her best birthday parties! The world of Frida Kahlo pushes you to outdo yourself. I did all of the decoration and it was crazy. I wanted to tell this wonderful story to Louise’s friends who had never heard it.
Secret : Next year, we’re going to do a Niki de Saint-Phalle theme. The goal is a Simone de Beauvoir party for her 13th birthday. We are not born feminist, we become it!
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