What went down at Chanel's cruise 2017 show in Cuba

What went down at Chanel's cruise 2017 show in Cuba

A landmark collection

Text: Andrea Sim

All you need to know about Karl Lagerfeld's harlequin cruise extravaganza on the once cloistered island of Havana, Cuba

Set and location: The meeting of the two heritage colossi took place on Paseo del Prado, and bore momentous significance for three reasons: (a) The street on which Chanel's cruise 2017 show was held alluded to the maison's roots; having been redesigned by a French architect in 1928; (b) its crossroads littered with bronze lion sculptures, a serendipitous nod to Coco Chanel's fixation with the animal; and (c) a raucous cavalcade of local cars careening down the street cemented Chanel's Cuban hurrah. 

The collection:
It was an inauguration of the Latin American leg in Karl Lagerfeld's worldly vision for the global brand. Doffing his hat to the country's colourful history, the Kaiser paraded his interpretation of the guayabera: Monikered the 'Cuban tux' — cropped dinner jackets anchored by pegged trousers (looks 8 & 9). Dipping his paintbrush into the country's palette of effervescent hues, ruffled evening gowns and tweed separates came in an explosion of burnt orange, azure blue and mellow, butter yellow — expertly tinged with the spirit of a hedonistic island retreat.  

In attendance:
Privy to the exclusive affair were the maison's ambassadors — Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Paradis and Gaspard Ulliel — amongst guests the likes of model Langley Fox Hemingway and music producer Caroline de Maigret; a congregation of movers and shakers. Ruling the runway were Lagerfeld favourites Soo Joo Park and Molly Bair — but, what would a Chanel show be without Brad and Hudson Kroenig? The father-son duo walked the street in true Havana fashion (look 61), taking us to the season's powerful prints...

Which tells a Cuban narrative:
The city's Buicks, Oldsmobile and Cadillacs doubled as the designer's cruise graphics. Dresses (look 71), spread collar jackets, and rakish pyjama sets (look 63) were generously doused in automobile motifs. Not to mention, the lush, variegated tropics expressed in metallics (looks 58, 59 & 60) that truly held court, summing up Chanel's fashion fiesta in Havana.