The Miranda Look: Platform Shoes

Carmen Miranda, without loosing elegance or being sexy, wore in her performances different designs--and heights--of platform shoes. Let's look at them!

By Museu Carmen Miranda

By Francis MillerLIFE Photo Collection

The Carmen Miranda Style

Carmen Miranda was so special that she created her own colorful, yet incredibly elegant, look based on the clothes typically worn in Bahia. She was a small, bubbly woman, with big green eyes and a huge smile, and she created a famous on-screen look that could only be compared to the costumes worn by Marlene Dietrich or Marilyn Monroe.

Carmen Miranda costume´s tests FOX (1940) (1940) by Alberto de OliveiraMuseu Carmen Miranda

Before starting the recordings, Carmen does costume tests to see how their combinations appear on the cameras.

Shoe (1940) by UnknownMuseu Carmen Miranda

Her Platform Heels

Standing just 1.53 m tall, the teenage Carmen began using high heels to make the most of her physical attributes. From 1930 onwards, having become a famous singer in Brazil, she started wearing platform heels, taking her inspiration from Portuguese clogs.

 

Gold pelisse shoe, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Gold pelisse shoe
Height: 20.5 cm

Gold pelisse shoe used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. On the face, go through two strips of pelica, leaving the peep toe style, and the sides open. Applying metal studs on the top strip, on the strips next to the heel and throughout the heel. Clasp closure with metal buckle. Heels slightly raised in front.

Purple velvet shoe worn on the film Scared Stiff, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Purple velvet shoe worn on the film Scared Stiff
Height: 14 cm

Purple velvet shoe, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Application of stones in the part near the toecap and the front and back of the heel in red, yellow, green, blue and transparent. Covering the rest of the upper and the heel, application of sequins and stass in pink, green and transparent. Strips fastened on the sides of the heel, in purple leather. Platform heels.

Clog in silver pelisse cover, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Clog in silver pelisse cover
Height: 15,5 cm

Clog in silver pelisse used by Carmen Miranda, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Gasses and heels with application of gold thread and rhinestones. Platform heel with slope on the front and back; Rhinestones glued to the contour of the entire upper part; Five stones sewn in the back.

Shoe worn at Jimmy Durante Show, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe used at Jimmy Durante Show
Height: 15,5 cm

Shoe in green velvet, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Handle fastened near the jump in two points, clasp by mooring. Application of stones in blue and mirrored, gluing of sequins in the upper and the jump. Platform heel with slope on front and back.

Shoe (1940) by O. RovinettiMuseu Carmen Miranda

They made her look effortlessly and elegantly taller, and were not as tiring for her on stage. With this idea in mind, she hired a well-known shoemaker to make the first molds in lightweight wood.

Peep toe shoe of black suede, O. Rovinetti, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Black suede peep toe shoe
Height: 18,5 cm

"
Black suede shoe used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Application of tie of same material with silver detail, in Greek, in the face. Closed buttress, D'Orsay style, attached to it strap with gold buckle clasp. Heels tapering on the back."

Shoe in golden lamé fabric, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe in golden lamé fabric
Height: 15,5 cm

Shoe in golden lamé fabric used by Carmen Miranda, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Strips fastened to the top, crossing the front, close to the clasp, silvery pelisse. Platform heel with slope on front and back.

Shoe worn at the Oscar Academy Awards (1941), Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe used at the Oscar Academy (1941)
Height: 12,5 cm

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.

Shoe (1940) by UnknownMuseu Carmen Miranda

She then went on to create various models and shapes, using materials like pelisse and brocade to cover up the wood.

Shoe worn on the London Palladium Show (1948), Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe used on the London Palladium Show (1948)
Height: 17 cm

Gold pelisse shoe used by Carmen Miranda, right 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 heel, slightly sloping front and S-shaped back.

Peep toe gold-plated and dark red pelisse shoe, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Peep toe gold-plated and dark red pelisse shoe
Height: 13,5 cm

Shoe in gold pelisse and dark red suede used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Face with overlapping strips of fur and suede forming hollow cutouts between them. Filled strip and suede fastening on the sides of the heel, clasp with buckle. Platform heel on the back three stripes in pelica and two in suede; Tapered back, suede.

Pink napa shoe, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Pink napa shoe
Height: 13,5 cm

Pink napa shoe with white details used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Range at the height of the instep, fastened to this, strap with buckle clasp. Heels tapering on the back.

Shoe (1940) by UnknownMuseu Carmen Miranda

Platform heels made from acrylic for the film Copacabana (1946). Made to match the costume from the final scene, with its straw bead embellishments.

Shoe in silver pelisse, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe in silver pelisse
Height: 15,5 cm

Shoe in silver pelisse used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Face with clipping. Strips fastened to the upper, crossing the front, clasp by buckle. Platform shoe in acrylic.

Black satin shoe, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Black satin shoe
Height: 16 cm

Black satin shoe used by Carmen Miranda, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Face with pierced cutout. Tops fastened across the front, buckle fastening. Strips fastened on the sides of the heel. Heels tapering on the back.

Peep toe shoe of black suede, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Peep toe shoe of black suede
Height: 14 cm

Black suede shoe used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Application of tie of same material with silver detail, in Greek, in the face. Closed buttress, D'Orsay style, attached to it strap with gold buckle clasp. Heels tapering on the back.

Shoe (1940) by UnknownMuseu Carmen Miranda

As tended to happen with everything she wore, women also started to adopt platform heels. It might even be said that Carmen Miranda and her shoes started a new fashion trend.

Shoe in silver pelisse, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Shoe in silver pelisse
Height: 15,5 cm

Shoe in silver pelisse used by Carmen Miranda, right foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Upper fastening strips crossing the front, zip fastening at the back. Platform heels. Sole of brown plastic material.

Gold pelisse peep toe shoe, Unknown, 1940, From the collection of: Museu Carmen Miranda
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Gold pelisse peep toe shoe
Height: 15,5 cm

Gold pelisse shoe used by Carmen Miranda, left foot. Open toe, peep toe style. Strips (not original) fastened to the upper by crossing the front, fastened by lashing. Strips fastened on the sides of the heel (not original). Heels tapering on the back.

Copacabana (1947) - Tico-Tico no Fubá (1947) by Gregory MayMuseu Carmen Miranda

“I have never followed what people say it is 'fashionable'. I think that a woman must wear what fits her. That is why I created a style appropriated to my type and my artistical genre.”

Carmen Miranda

Credits: Story

Carmen Miranda Museum
César Balbi

Anita Mantuano Arts Foundation of Rio de Janeiro State/ Rio de Janeiro State Department of Culture
André Lazaroni

Museum Superintendent
Raphael Hallack Fabrino

Curatorship
César Balbi
Vivian Fava
Laura Ghelman
Clara Paulino

Composition
Clara Paulino
Laura Ghelman

Photography
Cerne Sistemas

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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