Category: Portuguese

Carmen Miranda photographed by Annemarie Heinrich, 1935.

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Carmen Miranda (1941)

Fashion moments from Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda (1941)

Carmen Miranda in her dressing room at the London Palladium Theatre, 1948.

Carmen Miranda Wearing Lighthouse Headdress

(Original Caption) 11/12/1945-Hollywood, CA: Individualist Carmen Miranda- she of the platform-soled shoes and second glance headgear- reveals a shapely bit of her legs in her newest star-spangled creation. The Latin-American bombshell tops her bizarre costume with a miniature lighthouse. No, brother, you can’t be taller than she is.

Carmen Miranda visits Mickey Rooney (in drag as Miranda) on the set of “Babes on Broadway” (1941)

(Original Caption) That’s Carmen Miranda and ‘Carmen Mirooney’. If you can take the hint from the latter name, you’ll guess who that is on the right. It’s none other than Mickey Rooney, all made up for his impersonation of the fiery Latin in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Babes on Broadway. When she heard that Mickey was doing the impression, she took time off from her own work in Week-End in Havana, at Twentieth Century-Fox and visited the box office king. Mickey was eager for the coaching she gave him during his number. ‘Already she (Mickey) is better than she (Miranda),’ says Carmen when Mickey tries to thank her for her help. It was one of the most difficult acts ever done by Mickey for a picture. He studied Portuguese with a tutor for two weeks, then took two hours to be made up for the role every morning.

Carmen Miranda (February 9, 1909

– August 5, 1955)

The Portuguese-Brazilian actor and samba singer – and one of the first celebrity fashion designers.  In 1934, when Miranda was a samba singer in Brazil, she commissioned an orthopaedic cobbler in Rio de Janeiro to make thick-soled shoes to boost her height – she was just 5 ft tall. At around the same time, Moshe Kimmel would design a pair of platforms for Marlene Dietrich that later became known as the first “official” platforms.  Her influence on fashion had broader consequences too: the colourful aesthetic that made her a hit in Hollywood was controversial back home in Brazil. As the highest paid actress in Hollywood in the mid-1940s, Miranda introduced the US to an entirely new look, inspired by the outfits worn by Afro-Brazilian female street vendors in colonial times. These “baianas” (women from Bahia in north east Brazil) wore lace tops, gold jewellery and simple cloth turbans, and carried trays of fruit and other produce on their heads. Her stage costumes became an overnight sensation, earning the diminutive singer a series of product endorsements for costume jewellery, ready-to-wear turbans, blouses and platform shoes, stocked by the main Manhattan department stores. 

(via The Guardian)

Brazilian entertainer Carmen Miranda on the deck of the SS America

as she arrives in Southampton on April 20, 1948.