Kahlo Starts With a Blank Canvas

Leather curves around the thighs, straps crosshatch across the back and shirts lay undone, billowing in the breeze. There is something subtly, but inherently erotic about Kahlo, the new Sydney label currently seducing the Australian fashion industry. It may sound rather sinister, or at the very least similar to the Louis Vuitton collection, but Kahlo’s sexiness proves elusive. It is an edgy allure that is difficult to master.

The two women behind the label have delivered the tricky formula effortlessly. Rachelle Sinclair is a stylist that spends her time between Sydney and LA, adding her directional and innately cool touch to whatever comes her way (including an internship at Russh). Close friend Fay Ogundadbjo, on the other hand, comes from a business background. Together they form Kahlo, a women’s wear label that takes its name from Frida, the Mexican surrealist painter and an incredibly strong woman.

Much like its namesake, the label’s first collection, A Vacant Canvas, is a vision of strength and femininity. Subtly experimenting with colour and line, the collection is warm, refined and yet slightly dishevelled. Rawhide is very much a focus, with terracotta curved leather skirts, black smock leather tops and taupe suede dresses. These heavy pieces are smartly toned done with sheer button-up blouses and tailored culottes. There are hints of Australian label Ellery’s signature curved lines and box cuts, paired with Celine’s much loved minimalism.

A pair of pleated pants in burnt orange stand firm as the only trousers in the collection. The rest dangle above the knees. Circular cutouts, asymmetrical slits and crop-tops hint at a 90s edge, but a step back and the bigger picture will reveal these clothes aren’t made entirely for girls wanting to bare their midriff. Altogether Kahlo’s debut is strong, quietly sexy and made for women.

Published on Broadsheet