Today while perusing Pinterest I came across this absolutely fabulous fruit hat drawing. The artist is London-based illustrator Trisha Krauss. This image, and more fantastic stuff, may be found on her website. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!
Happy birthday to Carmen Miranda! If only I could wear my fruit hat to work today! I suppose I’ll have to settle for writing a little blog post in her honor. The following is cross-posted from IntLawGrrls, an international legal blog of which I am an editor and contributor. Enjoy!
On this day in …
… 1909, Carmen Miranda (right) was born Maria do Carmo Miranda Da Cunha in a village in the Marco de Canavezas province of Portugal. (photo credit) Her family moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1910. It was there that she later launched her career as a samba singer; in 1929 she recorded her first album, which led to a contract with RCA Records. After 10 years she was invited to New York City to perform on Broadway in Streets of Paris and later Sons o’ Fun. She starred in her first feature film in Brazil in 1939, Alô Alô, Brasil, and would go on to star in a host of popular Hollywood films. Many of the film scripts, set in Latin America, were reportedly reviewed by the Office of Inter-American Affairs, to ensure their promotion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy. Carmen stood under 5′ tall, so she would perform in nearly 8″ platform shoes, and wore hats to increase her size on stage. She made all her own costumes, having worked in hat shops and retail stores as a teenager. Her famous fruit hat costume, worn in Week-end in Havana (video clip of her performance in that film here), a stylized blend of traditional baiana dress and carnival character, would become iconic. Dubbed the “Brazilian Bombshell,” at the peak of her career she was reportedly the highest paid woman in Hollywood (some sources even say the United States). She died of a heart attack at the age of 46 in 1955. Her style has had a lasting impact on popular culture, right down to this ‘Grrl, who writes a blog in Carmen’s honor.
Did you know Carmen is so cool she even has her own postage stamp? This year, 2011, Carmen Miranda, along with four other “Latin music legends” (Selena, Carlos Gardel, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz) got her own postage stamp. I made a bit of a scene at the Post Office where I first saw them for sale a few months ago. If only I’d known they went on sale just before my birthday I would have ordered a first-day-of-issue postmark or something (any stamp collectors out there???) as a present to myself.
Ever since, even though I’ve had them burning a hole in my proverbial pocket, I have been saving them to send on important occasions. So this year, my holiday cards went out with all five Latin music honorees, but especially awesome in my opinion, the face of Carmen Miranda. What a perfect way to close 2011 and to welcome the new year.
Today on an adventure in the Smithsonian American History Museum I found Carmen. Or perhaps more like it, Carmen found me!
On a recent lovely day of antiquing in Oakland I came across a gem of epic proportions: Carmen Miranda paper dolls. For $6, how could a girl say no? Yes, I’m 30 and playing with paper dolls. Please enjoy.
On a trip to New York City last week Carmen popped up to say hello!
Fruit hats are fun, campy, and basically amazing in every way. Here I am wearing a fruit hat crafted by my Sacramento, California dance studio friends: