The embargo may have ended but the revolution is a profitable phenomenon that has not faded away. This is exactly what must have passed through Karl Lagerfeld’s mind as he proposed yet another cruise show, this time in an unusual location – post-embargo Cuba. This time however, the new Chanel collection is wonderfully tied to the culture and the place that serve as the backdrop to its presentation.
Coco Cuba as the cruise is called was launched in a unique atmosphere last night on the Paseo del Prado, the most spectacular tree-lined avenue in Havana that was decorated with the majestic Chanel symbols with spectators seated on the public benches. The models sashayed down the catwalk to a mambo rhythm and Cuban rhythms showcasing stunning multi-coloured patterns depicting the classic cars from the 50s, exceedingly feminine Panama hats and Chanel suits in “guerrilla warfare.” All the collection is a tribute to the island’s culture: typical guayadera shirts are incorporated with the classic jackets, the colours are all beach shades and the t-shirts feature phrases and slogans as though they were elegant souvenirs. The classic 1940s shoes are two-tone (and open from behind) but there are also flip-flops from the historical Adidas Adilette that are elegantly revived. Pearl necklaces are not closed with the classic camellia but decorated with flowers. Pins recall the revolution with star-shaped Chanel ‘A’s. Generally speaking, all the clothes and accessories are elaborate.
Just like Cuba, this cruise collection is a marvellous mixture of genres, a melting pot of styles that have raised the island’s culture to celebrity status around the world. And as of Summer 2017, the boutique windows around the world will be emblazoned with “hasta la victoria”.
Alessandro Di Giacomo