Fashion Blogger 'Fried Frida' Talks About How Kahlo Has Influenced Her Style
24-year-old Eli Lopez Beltran's website, Fried Frida, is more than just a fashion blog. She truly has created what she's coined "a space where fashion becomes art."
Have you ever wanted wanted to try some of those bold, yet beautiful looks that Frida Kahlo once paraded? Well, don't be scared anymore. Eli's got all the secrets for how to incorporate this unique style into an every day outfit and she's spilling all the details.
Where are you from?
I am proud to call both San Diego, CA and Sinaloa, Mexico my home.
How did you get started fashion blogging?
I have wanted to work in fashion for a long time. Working full time in the legal field, I needed a connection to fashion. I wanted style to be a part of my day-to-day and a blog seemed like the perfect creative outlet.
How long have you been blogging about fashion?
I started my blog shortly after graduation in the summer of 2013, but only recently have I been able to dedicate more time to it.
Tell us a little bit about your background:
Both of my parents are from Sinaloa, Mexico, a coastal state on the Pacific Ocean. I was born in California and grew up in Imperial Beach, a little town in San Diego right on the border with Tijuana, Baja California. Being a five-minute drive from the border made it very easy to grow up between two different worlds, a space that is a culture in-and-of itself. My border world was dynamic, constantly evolving and I am so grateful for the wonderful lessons it taught me – whether it was learning see the humanity in others or simply to appreciate diverse cuisines.
Why does Frida's fashion inspire you so much? Frida was a fashion icon like we've never seen before. She challenged norms and made "unpretty" things charming in the process.
Her outfits were always involved: brightly colored ribbons weaving through her trenzas [braids]; intricately embroidered native dresses; textured shawls; rare, ostentatious jewelry; and her trademark, the eyebrows she refused to relinquish to contemporary beauty standards.
Her confidence dazzled everyone and she was (and is to this day is) revered for her fashion. Despite the intricacy of her wardrobe and style, each ensemble was an effortless statement. The power of Frida's fashion is a function of what she wore as much as it is how she wore it. She had a confident style that rendered the most intricate of gowns, the most ornate of necklaces, and the most embellished of trenzas, but was still effortless.
Do you have any Mexican stylists, fashion bloggers, or designers that inspire you or that you love? There is so much talent in Mexico and I think the fashion and design scene is really growing. Some of my personal favorites are Alexia Ulibarri, Ricardo Seco, and Carla Fernandez. These uniquely talented designers are pushing boundaries and ushering a new era of Mexican fashion. Their work promotes the breathtaking cultural diversity that can be seen and experienced throughout Mexico.
What is your favorite Frida look?
Her looks are always so intricate and distinctive. I love her style precisely for that reason, but there is one look in particular that I adore. On my most recent trip to Mexico I picked up a print of the photograph below from the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
She poses for the photograph with dark blue ribbon woven through her braids, a deep red shawl covering her and a simple ivory top. There isn’t anything particularly extraordinary about her outfit, but she shines through and is still completely recognizable as the fashion icon that she is.
I truly enjoy her inconspicuous looks - the outfits where her usually loud jewelry and embellishments are kept to a minimal style and the color palette is a bit muted. I say this because even when she isn’t wearing the most elaborate or ostentatious outfit, she still exudes the same poise and undeniable confidence. I love that! That’s when you realize that her self-assurance is what truly defines her style.
What do you hope to accomplish through your blog? Fried Frida really began as my personal creative outlet and connection to fashion, but it has grown beyond that! I want Fried Frida to be a celebration of peculiar fashion and to show - just as Frida did - that what is different can be beautiful if you look at it through the right lens. It’s a way to have fun and explore an imaginative, yet, approachable style. Finally, Fried Frida is a platform to share the beauty of my Mexican heritage through an art form I care so deeply for.
What advice do you have for others trying to incorporate some of Frida's style in to their everyday look? Channel her confidence - a confidence that I like to see as a cultural pride. It’s contagious! That kind of exuberant pride will guide your style in the right direction.
If you could ask Frida one question what would it be? I’d ask her if she ever found the answers she was seeking. Her artwork was a clear exploration of her sense of self and I’d love to know that someone with such passion and talent found some peace in a world of pain.
What are your favorite places to shop for clothes? That’s another tough one! I shop online quite a bit and there are so many talented designers out there. It’s difficult to single out just a few.
There are a few shops I’ve recently discovered: Finery London, Front Row Shop and & Other Stories. You’ll find very interesting pieces at each of these and they seem in line with the trends you see on the runways, but you can tell that they still come from a unique perspective.
Other than those three, Refinery29 is a great place to shop. I am constantly discovering new gems on their site.
State your style using three words: Whimsical, Chicana, Glamorous
Describe your style using a Frida quote:
What are your favorite places to shop for jewelry and accessories?
I love taking culturally traditional pieces like my hand painted bracelet from Mexico or my evil eye necklace from Turkey and pairing them with very modern looks. I’m still surprised by how often and how well that works!
Check out the '5 Frida-Inspired Looks' by Eli here.