Honestly, I don't know quite to make of the life and times of Eva Peron (Evita). She was born as the "love child" of a wealthy estate manager with whom her mother had four older siblings. They never married. Young Eva was ambitious and left home at about age 15 to go to the big city of Buenos Aires to begin a career as a model, radio personality and eventually an actress. She met Colonel Juan Domingo Peron at a fundraiser - she was 24 and he was 48. Immediately they became inseparable. Eventually they married. He became President. Along the way, she became very powerful. She was a spokesperson for members and causes of the working class - they loved her. She became an enemy of the conservative Anglophile oligarchy - they hated her.
All I really wanted to see were her faboulous fashions! The Fodor's Guidebook said many were housed in a museum - the Museo Evita. Our last day in BA we had just enough time to go.
The museum is housed in a gorgeous building built in 1909. The Fundacion de Ayuda Social Eva Peron (Eva Peron Social Aid Foundation) purchased the building in 1948 and converted it to home for unwed mothers, much to the dismay of wealthy, conservative neighbors nearby.
Fresh flowers and lit candles are in the museum lobby under the painting of Evita.
Though she died at age 33 in 1952, her memory clearly lives on.
Now let's take a look at the actual clothing pieces and accessories Eva Peron wore.
Note the waistline with its zigzag points on this blue polka dot dress.
I love the side-tied sash on this dress.
Not only does the museum house many of her wonderful wardrobe pieces (oh the hats and shoes!), but it also has the social aid programs she instituted and her role in getting women the right to vote.
The museum has excellent film footage of Evita in her early acting career, giving her speeches (from balconies) and the final farewell to her as her open coffin was carried by carriage through the streets of Buenos Aires. Thousands of devastated mourners paid their final respects to her - so many, in fact, that the body had to be kept on view for thirteen days before this twenty block, three hour march.
|The ballot box|
How does one sort the fact from the fiction? Once home, I headed to the library and found this book by Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro.
Certainly this was a more in-depth telling of the life and times of Evita with facts, politics and timeless photos. Was she the Spiritual Leader of the Nation? Or "that ambitious, unscrupulous woman" referred to by those who hated her?
The only thing I know for certain about her is that I liked her taste in outfits, shoes and hats.
She had style!