Carmen Miranda and the Turban Connection

Is it only coincidence that the 1930's through mid 1950's prevalence of women's turban styled hats coincided with the popularity of the Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda?

Born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha on February 9, 1909 in Marco de Canaveses, Portugal, Carmen Miranda was a Latin samba singer/dancer and Broadway, film, and television star of the 1930's through the 1950's.

Miranda's parents moved to Brazil when she was a baby. Nicknamed "The Brazilian Bombshell" Miranda was best known for her dazzling personality, signature fruit laden hats, and flamboyant musical comedy performances

Carmen Miranda posed in Travis Banton Latin Dance Costume for 1941 Film That Night in Rio
Carmen Miranda in Travis Banton Costume
"That Night in Rio" 1941
Before becoming the most successful Brazilian performer of the 1940's, Miranda owned a successful hat making boutique in Brazil.

8x10 signed photograph of Carmen Miranda in Turbin
Signed Photograph of Carmen Miranda in Turbin
© Live Auctioneers.
A petite 5 feet tall, Miranda's Hollywood persona was accented with frilly blouses, oversized bangle and beaded jewelry, flamboyant headpieces, and tall platform shoes. Her costumes featured gold lamé, sequins, and imitation fruit baskets on her turbans.

Perhaps it was her "baiana-inspired" look that was responsible for the popularity of wearing turbans during the 30s and 40s..

Richelieu Pearls Ad 1940s featuring jewelry and hats
Richelieu Pearls Ad 1940s

Two models wearing Laddie Northridge designed hats in Life Magazine August 1945
Laddie Northridge Hats Ads
Life Magazine August 1945
Late 1940s Hat by Paulette
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Roger Goiran

Photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip during Royal Tour.
Queen Elizabeth Royal Tour
Source: Google Life
Photo by Larry Burrows
1940s Turbans Ad from Sears Catalog
1940s Turbans Ad from Sears Catalog

1940s Turbans Ad from Sears Catalog
1940s Turbans Ad from Sears Catalog

Forstmann Wools Ad featuring model wearing a turban
Forstmann Wooles Ad
Carmen Miranda died of a heart attack at age 46 on August 5, 1955.

Turbans began to lose fashion favor by the 1950's.

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