Bag of the Month – V&A Frida Kahlo

It is so inspiring to work with people who are passionate about their work.  Whether a small independent cafe or a national treasure like the V&A it is the people we work with who inspire us to be better.  This month’s bag of the month is a beautiful tote bag we created for the V&A’s exhibition Frida Kahlo – Making Herself Up.

Making Herself Up

The V&A have turned around the fortunes of this iconic museum, capturing the imagination of the British public by bringing a biography of Alexander McQueen, David Bowie.  Now we are introduced to the Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up exhibition exclusively at the V&A.

Vibrant colour is a central theme to the works of this Mixicayotl artist, her wardrobe and art inspired a new interpretation of Mexico’s indigenous heritage. Her life and experiences give us an understanding of how art and creativity can transform the most tragic experiences.

What was the design brief?

The V&A came to us ahead of revealing the launch of their ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up’ exhibition to capture the vibrant colours and unique detail of the famed Mexican artist. Combining bold fabric dyeing with vivid screen print and finely detailed digital print was the only way to capture the desired finish.  The process stretched our skilled artisans to create a tote bag that is a fitting visual interpretation of the iconic artist. 

What was the purpose behind the bags?

The goal was to produce a souvenir bag that captured the essence of the exhibition at an affordable price point.  The experienced buying team at V&A are clear on the price points that work for their audience so it is vital to produce a bag within a strict budget, without compromising on quality or ethics.

How did we achieve the brief?

We achieved this by screen printing one side of the bag and digitally printing the other side on to an 8oz open yarn cotton fabric and dyeing this in the ‘Azul’ blue of her childhood home.  In an ideal world we’d yarn dye an combed cotton fabric and digitally print the whole piece, this would have been cost prohibitive. There is always a balance to strike when it comes to balancing budget, quality, speed and function.

What do you like about the final bag design?

The bag has already proved a huge success and out sold all expectations, but the reason we have chosen this one as ‘Bag Of The Month’ is because working on it has taught us so much.  We have learnt loads about the different processes in bag making skills, but we have also learned so much about this inspiring woman: Frida Khalo.

Where can we find one?

If you are quick, you may still be able to buy one of the ‘Azul’ totes or the limited edition ‘Cream’ totes from the V&A Museum or their online Shop by clicking here 

Client: Victoria & Albert Museum
Service: Bespoke Digital Service
Lead Time: 14 weeks
Bag Ref: C01
Material: 8oz cotton
Minimum Quantity: 1000 Units

 bagsforlife.com

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