Explore the extraordinary life and legacy of Brazils most loved and admired performer
In the late 1920s, Carmen helped her mother to serve tables in her inn which was frequented by names such as maestro Pixinguinha and his group, among other several local deputies and artists. In one of her presentations at the inn, she was discovered by the deputy Aníbal Duarte, who presented her to the musician Josué de Barros, being immediately invited to participate in a charity festival at the National Institute of Music.
Choker on five jacaranda plates, carved, joined by gold metal ring used by Carmen Miranda. In the center, bigger board with baiana and beach landscape. Beside two plates with figures of rogues. Final plates, smaller, one with a tambourine and a rattle and one with a guitar.
Without much experience, she sang tangos and was invited to perform on the Radio. After a few presentations in the radios Society and Education, Josué de Barros invited her to record the songs: "Não vá simbora" and "Se o samba é moda" in a LP released at the end of 1929, but without much success.
Black velvet wallet used by Carmen Miranda, embroidered with golden yarns, on both sides, forming semi-circular motifs, with the center an open-tailed peacock. Details on head, chest and tail in blue and red wires. Black satin lining.
The fame came with the album "Pra você gostar de mim (Taí)", a march specially composed by Joubert de Carvalho for Carmen, who sold about 35 thousand copies, making it the great success in the carnival of 1930, being played and sung in numerous carnivals throughout Brazil.
Colorful pectoral necklace
Bead-studded pectoral necklace, used by Carmen Miranda, with round beads and rice-shaped beads; Purple, colorless, red, green, blue, brown and pink stones in various forms. Yellow, colorless, blue, green, brown and red strass. First band (neck) with a row of round stones and drops and rhinestones of different colors. Below, laced more open with pendant with rows of colored stones with larger stone in the center. Closing of piece of fabric with pearly beads and clasp.
During the 1930s, she was known as “Pequena Notável” [Little Remarkable], “Embaixatriz do Samba” [Samba Ambassador], “Estrela Máxima” [Maximum Star], “Rainha do Samba” [Queen of Samba], “A pequena do It” [The little do it], “Ditadora Risonha do Samba” [Samba's Giggle Dictator]. In fashion, she started to be a reference, as she created her own singer and actress costumes. Carmen, with her financial independency, perfectly summarized the ideals of 20th century women.
Long dress of Madame Fifi's character- Copacabana (1947)
Long dress with tail worn by Carmen Miranda. Long sleeves and shoulders. In beige crepe covered by a black crochet net embroidered with green and red sequins and metallic beads. Waist-to-beam opening, with black tulle frill. Sleeves with metal snap fasteners. Zipper closure at the back.
From shop windows to the world, she revolutionized the standards of fashion at the time, in what became known as Miranda Look. In 1941, she went to Hollywood, making her first participation in films in the United States, becoming known internationally through technicolor.
Hollywood Walk of Fame Turban
Turban in beige fabric with stripes of gold metallic threads worn by Carmen Miranda. At the top, the fabric forms a kind of twisted bun lining a piece of acrylic blanket. Weft of straw lining.
In March 1941, she became the first Latin American artist to print her feet and hands on the sidewalk of the Chinese Theater, and to have a gold star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Measuring only 1.53m tall, Carmen, since her adolescence, has always used high heels to value her curves. Her signature became the platform jump, inspired by Portuguese clogs.
Shoe worn at the Oscar Academy Awards (1941)
Dark blue velvet shoe used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Strips fastened in the upper, crossing the front, passing strips on the sides of the heel, clasp by buckle. Heels tapering on the back.
Even before becoming famous, Carmen always liked to adorn herself with costume jewelry. She used several props and when she started to use the stylized 'baiana' she abused the excess of necklaces and bracelets. Her costume jewelry was commissioned by her to artists of her confidence and always seeking to value her stature.
Treadmill bracelet formed by nine chains joined by carved strips, rings and double incised beads used by Carmen Miranda. In center rectangular plate in metal, relief of arabesques, interspersed of cabochons in the colors green, blue and red. In the center, red globulated stone, surrounded by colorless rhinestones. Two plaques in the clasp, flanked by cabochons in the colors red, green and blue.
Carmen Miranda's turbans were inspired by the clothing worn by the 'baianas' women who were common to see at Plaza Onze in the city of Rio de Janeiro since the beginning of the 19th century. With this exotic look, Carmen began to use various themes and materials in the making of all turbans.
Turban of black embroidered tulle with sequins of the same color worn by Carmen Miranda. Topped by arrangement of embroidered flowers with black sequins, net of plungers and large silver beads. On the set holder, black satin. From the right side, part of the arrangement hangs.
Costume by Barjansky, with suggestions of Carmen Miranda. This garment is considered the last laced 'baiana' created in Hollywood studios and the first of a series for international concerts and tours.
Top with silver, pink, yellow and green sequins
Bustier in bra shape worn by Carmen Miranda, heart neckline. Bulges structured with circular ring. Black fabric printed around the bulge and sides. Embroidered with silver, pink, yellow and green sequins covering most of the piece. In the lining, cotton mesh on the sides. At the top of the bumpers, metal hooks. Metal clasp sewn on side bands.
The 'baiana' skirt was, afterwards, adapted by Carmen Miranda herself to be used in one of her shows.
Baiana' Skirt worn at the show of Carmen Miranda in Las Vegas
Skirt in golden lame with waistband worn by Carmen Miranda. Skirt with embroidered ornaments in gold sequins and fruit applications in satin and velvet of various colors, embroidered with round sequins and in eye shape, stones and rhinestones. Waistband in beige tulle filled with rhinestone embroidery and sequins forming lozenges. Zipper closure and bracket on the back.
Baiana's Turban from Copacabana movie (1947)
Turban embroidered with pearly sequins worn by Carmen Miranda. Topped by fruit basket embroidered with sequins and beads. Among the fruits: pineapple, bananas, grapes and strawberries. Around the basket, red fruits of plastics and green leaves embroidered with sequins. On the right side hangs a bunch of grapes embroidered with sequins.
"Alegria Rapazes" (Something for the Boys, 1944) and "Sonho de Estrelas" (Doll Face, 1945)
Part of the costume was created by Yvonne Wood and Kag Nelson in 1944 and it was originally used in the films "Alegria Rapazes" (Something for the Boys) and "Sonhos de Estrela" (Doll Face)
Green striped shoulder frill
Shoulders frill worn by Carmen Miranda, with four overlapping tule bands forming layers, the first being in a white tulle with horizontal bands of green sequins. Fabric in beige nylon and lace of metallic wires in silver and green. Elastic bands at the top, forming ruffles. Metal clasp sewn at the ends.
Bustier in bra shape, heart neckline worn by Carmen Miranda. Structured arches. Green satin embroidered with two kinds of green sequins (round and star-shaped), covering most of the piece and leaving part of the side band with the apparent satin. Lining in beige fabric, beige crepe and brown velvet around the bulge. Strap on tape with application of transparent rhinestones throughout its length. Metal clasp sewn on the sides.
Green striped skirt
Evase skirt in crepe pierced in the front worn by Carmen Miranda. Three layers of ruffles. Shorter in the front. Embroidery with sequins in vertical green stripes and floral motifs. Application of fabric in the form of embroidered leaves with green sequins in the shape of stars. In the outline of the beam, row of green sequins. Beige crepe beads also embroidered with stripes. Nylon beads with silver and green metallic wires. Zipper closure and bracket on the back.
Carmen learned in her adolescence skills of cutting and sewing, besides having learned how to embroider. When the shooting ended, she bought the costumes and used them at her shows. Many of them she modeled in her own style.
Customized striped Blouse
Striped blouse in vertical stripes fabric in green and light beige worn by Carmen Miranda. Embroidery with sequins of the same colors. Composed of two stripes, one covering the bust and one greater, on the first, below the shoulders. Wrong, elastic at the top and bottom, close to the hem.
It is a costume that refers to a 'baiana rumbeira' dressed by her character Carmelita Castina, who represents the cultural identity of an indefinite Latina.
Shoulder frill worn by Carmen Miranda, with eleven tufted stripes of nylon and nylon overlapping layers, the first in gray, followed by dark pink, purple and another dark pink, glued to them, sequins in gold and pink. Elastic fringed bands at the top forming ruffles, the ends being applied with flowers armed in wire and sewn to tulles embroidered by green, pink, white and gold sequins round and pink stars. Metal clasp at the ends.
Shows in Cuba
Carmen began to use this type of stylized 'baiana' after the film Copacabana. This costume is part of a collection of four baianas from the collection of the Carmen Miranda Museum that represents the last stage of the artist's shows.
Bustier in bra shape, heart neckline worn by Carmen Miranda. Bulges structured in circular ring. Embroidered with sequins in brown covering the whole piece; transparent rhinestones sewn in the central contour of two bows; in the center, beige satin ribbon. Cotton jersey lining on the sides. Metal clasp sewn on the side bands.
The Jimmy Durante Show
Costume worn by Carmen Miranda in Dallas (1952) and used on the TV show The Jimmy Durante Show on the night of August 4, 1955, being her last show recorded.
Blue tulle skirt worn at the last show of Carmen Miranda
Shirred skirt in blue nylon tulle with sequin applications in vertical stripes and flowers with rhinestone core worn by Carmen Miranda. Embroidered tulle blade with colorless sequins with three rows of rhinestones on the waistband, zipper back closure and hooks. Three layers of petticoat in blue, yellow and lilac tulle with ruffles on the bar.
Pectoral green necklace
Bead-studded pectoral-like necklace, used by Carmen Miranda,with studded green stones, pearly beads, rhinestones and green glass pendants. Upper part (neck) in beige fabric, on cloth, round and oval stones, interspersed with pearls. Below, laced more open, in stones of various shapes, green and colorless rhinestones and pearly beads, ending in length in rosette range. Finished in green glass pendants. Cover covered with pearly beads with square brackets.
In 1948, Carmen Miranda completes her memorable season at the London Palladium. Her last film is released in 1953, where she appears alongside Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. In the same year she toured in Europe, including 14 Italian cities. She was one of the first artists to perform at the newly opened Las Vegas casinos and participate in the new media vehicle, television.
Shoe worn on the London Palladium Show (1948)
Gold pelisse shoe used by Carmen Miranda, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Strips fastened at two points of the upper, crossing in front and passing through strips on the sides of the heel, clasp by mooring. Straight platform heels, slightly sloping front and S-shaped back.
Carmen Miranda's Museum
Anita Mantuano Arts Foundation of State of Rio de Janeiro/ Rio de Janeiro State Department of Culture
Raphael Hallack Fabrino