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Chanel Heats Up in Havana

Fashion News
Chanel’s Cruise Collection 2017 runway finale

By Jessica Michault

The line of candy hued vintage convertibles kicked off the Chanel cruise show in Cuba in style. In a sort of automobile conga line, the privileged guests who were invited to the historic event were driven in the colorful cars in a extraordinary demonstration of luxury and prestige befitting a brand that’s name, even in Cuba, is synonymous with chic.

A look from the collection, including the must-have Coco Cuba Libre T-shirt

Karl Lagerfeld, who interestingly won a few tango and cha-cha championships in his youth, has always been a big fan of Latin style and music. So when global relationships with Cuba started to thaw, with the state visit of United States President Barrack Obama in March, Lagerfeld jumped at the chance to show a Chanel collection in a country that has always fascinated him.

Channeling tropical chic

The “Club Coco” collection turned out to be a vibrant sartorial love letter to the country. The open air show took place as the humid heat of the day began to fade on Tuesday evening. Guests, who sat relaxed on street beaches that framed the tree shaded El Paseo del Prado avenue, swayed to the sounds of rhythmic Latin music and took in a show that was filled with sartorial staples of the city.

Gisele strikes a pose in full Havana fashion

Models in their straw Panama hats or shimmering “Che Guevara” berets sported looks that had just a touch of 50s retro cool about them. Top marks went to Lagerfeld’s take on the traditional guayabera shirt and even appropriated its pleated style on classic Chanel jackets. The bright vintage car printed pieces, and the slightly military tinged jackets were other winners. While the tropical hued tops that spelled out “Viva Coco Libre” are going to make the best souvenir t-shirts of all time.

Karl Lagerfeld and Hudson, his godson and frequent Chanel model

Lagerfeld always incorporates elements of the city and country in which he decides to show his cruise collection into his lineup. Sometimes this can come across heavy handed, as was the case with the oil can bags seen in Dubai show. But with this collection, he was able to almost seamless meld the refined elegance of Parisian sophistication with the alluring sultry energy of the island nation.

A candy-colored look from the collection

When the models came dancing down the runway for the show’s finale, undulating to the rhythm of a live drum band, it was hard not to wonder what all the native onlookers perched on the balconies of their homes that lined the show’s catwalk must be thinking. They certainly got a very chic culture shock.


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