This year’s collection plays a homage to one of Brazil’s biggest icons, Carmen Miranda. Her powerful vocals, her pure-joy rolling eyes under those boomerang eyebrows, her infectious smile and her athletic legs on the 7-inch platform shoes helped her turn into a true legend. But haters gonna hate, and Miranda’s popularity pissed off lots of folks back home, who rejected the persona she created as condescending for being so relentlessly frivolous.
Embraced as quaint and quirky by US audiences, the Brazilian high society and mainstream media were down on her for being somehow “too Brazil” but “not Brazil enough”. But the fact that this Carioca caricature is still recognized and even revered today is testament to Carmen’s promotional genius, branding savviness and creative force. There has never been anybody like her, a true one-of-a-kind.
Carmen outfits (on and off-stage) are incredibly contemporary, which is why she is still considered such an important fashion icon. Thanks to her, we parade in our own platform shoes, head ties, crop tops and statement jewelry to this day. A maker of her own costumes, in 1946 Carmen exceeded herself with some gravity-defying , eye- popping pieces for her new movie “Copacabana”. Unfortunately, the technicolor preparation process took so long that the producers decided to do it in B&W. Copacabana cries for color, and so did Carmen.
This collection is inspired by this curious story, duelling both B&W and color version of the same prints, and of course mixing and matching like there is no tomorrow. It also plays with a few adorable clichés such as the beaded fruits and the ruffles...big ruffles. This collection was a challenge, because at the end of the day we are still minimalists. But it was also a great exercise of how a very extra figure like Carmen can be translated into a contemporary and eco collection for the beach babes of the 21st Century.
“Look at me and tell me if I don’t have Brazil in every curve of my body.”
Photography: Ryan R Photography
Model: Julia Makhovskaya/ Red 11 New Zealand
Make-up & hair: Martina Ciceri
Styling: Natalia Bertolo