Islington's very own Mexican inspired artisan & vintage boutique
Two Fridas is a concept bringing together traditional Mexican and more modern detailsSee our handpicked guides to Newcastle
BY ALICIA POOLE
Two Fridas, a unique mix of Mexican inspired and vintage wares, is a boutique store located on Maitland Road, Islington, created by the eclectic and creative, Kate Warner. The name is derived from one of Frida Kahlo’s famous artworks (Two Fridas – Las dos Fridas).
“In the painting, Frida has painted herself next to herself. On one [side] she is wearing traditional Oaxacan dress, and on the other, she is wearing clothing of her era...Two Fridas, I feel like, is a concept bringing together traditional Mexican and more modern details.”
A Frida Kahlo exhibition, hosted at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2016 was the catalyst for Kate’s business venture, struggling to find something to wear that was traditional and accessible, “I thought, maybe there’s an opportunity here...to try to source some things and make things more affordable,” she says. From there Two Fridas was born, with markets, events and the opening of the store 8 months ago.
When asked about what inspires her most about Frida Kahlo, Kate says,
“I know lots of people love Frida for many different reasons, there’s lots to love. Her story has always inspired me and everything that she went through in her life. I guess first and foremost, her fashion sense…just how forward she was and how she put herself together with lots of big accessorising and pattern mixing and matching. Stuff that you see now that she was doing back in the 20’s and 30’s; she was really quite progressive. Just to have the courage to go out there and dress like that, I really admire.
“But also, I like that her story kind of intersects with my other hat, which is disabilities. It actually didn’t occur to me until recently that Frida Kahlo was living with a disability, that we don’t remember her for that. We remember her for all these amazing things that she achieved. Which I love that because so often, people with a disability just get sort of boxed in and labelled as their disability.”
Whilst the store is mainly surrounding Mexico and vintage wares, Kate has her own line of clothing as well as a range of locally made products as well. Kate’s love for textiles has led her to create some real one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporate traditional Mexican elements; think lots of tying on, light fabrics and Aztec origins. Kate admits there’s definitely quite the mix of pieces at her store, so there will always be something to spark your interest.
Kate has big dreams for the space, with hopes for it to grow from just another retail spot, to a space for inspiration for the community,
"It’s almost an experience in itself coming in here. So, for me, I’ve got a few ideas floating around of what I’d like to do with that… people come in here and they just have the best time, it’s almost a bit of a community service!”
“Hudson St Hum had heard I was just around the corner…it was a bizarre little universe aligning moment. My friend has bumped into one of the girls and mentioned that I had the store around the corner…months later they’d said they were doing a Frida workshop, and they wanted to chat with me!
“It seems like it’s going to be a whole experience and a lot of fun. I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t know what the girls are wanting to put out there!”
With the future looking really bright for Two Fridas, don’t forget to pick up your tickets to the Paint Frida workshop here. Or, if you’re heading along to Groovin’ The Moo this coming April, be sure to keep an eye out for Kate and the Two Fridas stall.