Monday, February 9, 2015


"Look at me and tell me if I don’t have Brazil in every curve of my body."
Today is the birthday of one of my favorite Hollywood legends and icons...Carmen Miranda, who I think is under appreciated. Happy Birthday Carmen!!! I only wish AMC, OR TMC, would play a day of her movies for us. She brought such a energy to the screen and sure made an entrance.
If you don't recognize her by her name, you'll definitely recognize her by her iconic image: the lady in fruit hat. Always a lover of fashion and theatre, Carmen herself was named after Bizet's opera, Carmen. Her father's passion for opera inspired her to sing and dance as a little girl and eventually put her talent to use in other ways. Originally being from Portugal, she moved to Rio de Janeiro, singing at festivals and maintaining a job to help with her sister's medical bills. When she wasn't working on hats, a talent she discovered while working at a boutique, she was auditioning on radio shows and creating her own image to stand out from her competition.
It wasn't often you saw pictures without her usual garb...she had fabulous , glamorous hair.
Her competition, however, grew weaker and weaker as she grew more famous and was given a contract in 1929, becoming the first contract singer in Brazil's radio industry. With this exposure, she traveled to other cities to perform as a samba singer and made her screen debut on A Voz Do Carnaval, Alô, Alô Brasil and the 1935 film, Estudantes. Her biggest opportunity came when an American theatre operator saw her perform and made a contract with her to make an American stage debut in Streets of Paris. She spoke a total of four words yet became a huge sensation, so much so that President Roosevelt formally introduced her to the American public as a way to welcome her to the U.S.
From this welcoming, Carmen shared her refreshing image with Hollywood and Broadway, bringing tropical-chic to the scene. With her new contracts, she was able to produce some of her best work in That Night at Rio, Week-End in Havana, The Gang's All Here and Copacabana. Although she became the highest paid woman in the U.S. by 1945, she continued to make the costumes she appeared in, making them more and more extravagant each time. Her iconic platform heels became taller ,to hide the fact that she was only five feet tall, and designers like Ferragamo created custom designs just for her. Her flamboyant floral, fruity headdresses, turbans and bold accessories became her signature look, never to be forgotten. Although she passed away in 1955 at the age of 46, her image lives on through many artistic outlets today.
It wasn't long ago for a party yours truly did my own ode to Carmen......


  1. I love Carmen Miranda and I agree -- she is long overdue for a resurgence of popularity! And Mistress, what an homage you paid to her in words and dress!

  2. Darling Maddie,

    How fabulous you look dressed to kill as the legendary Carmen. And, that fruit salad on your head must have weighed a ton! Perfect!

    We have to say that we knew little of her history and this post has been a fascinating read. She clearly was a tenacious woman and sounds as if she worked hard for and fully deserved everything she achieved. We admire that.

    You have paid full credit to this incredible performer. Yes, the time is definitely right for a revival of interest. Lead the way, darling Maddie, shaking your maracas as you go!

  3. She was utterly faboo, darling! I even had a t-shirt made in tribute... Jx

  4. WOW! you look FABULOUS!

    remember too, daffy duck dressed as carmen...just sayin'...

    and look at all those platform shoes...pre disco era!

  5. Oh yes, I too adorable Carmen Miranda!!! While she never headlined a movie, I too wish one of those networks would pay homage by playing movies she starred in. She was so beautiful. What a lovely post. And you!!!!! Very gorgeous replica! That head piece is amazing.

  6. A legend indeed! I have always enjoyed her scene's. She could never win though. Americans though she was the stereo typical Brazilian who couldn't speak much English, and the South Americans thought she was Americanized. What a very nice post and love your picture as well!

  7. All these years I have enjoyed her, and growing up seeing her never knew this much about her. Never knew she died so young. She sure was a beauty. And the richest woman!!! Your photo finished off a great post, how stunning darling.

  8. I always enjoyed her performances in films...happy, energetic.

  9. The best show woman in the world......ever! And don't you look just like Carmen.

  10. I defy anyone to watch her and not have a smile on their face.

  11. Such a talented woman who bought so much pleasure to all her fans. She really was flawless.

  12. I admire any woman who can make a name for herself as she did especially during that time period. What a lovely tribute! And your own personal tribute (costume and all) is amazing.

  13. Carmen is gorgeous and yes... there is Brazil etched in every curve of her body and temperament.

    I loved her flamboyant floral, fruity headdresses, turbans and bold accessories. So sad that someone so beautiful and talented passed away at such a young age.

    Brazil! Oh paradise of tropical shores and even more tropical men. J'adore!


Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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