Chanel in Cuba

3 min read

Last week, on 3 May, Karl Lagerfeld presented Chanel’s 2016/2017 Cruise Collection in Havana, Cuba. Baroque Access has all the details and photographs to keep you up to date


The magnificent Chanel 2016/2017 Cruise Collection show took place on the Paseo del Prado in Havana. The building has historic ties to France and was redesigned by a French landscape architect in 1928. The building includes eight stunning bronze statues of lions, which were Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite animal. This is one of the reasons that the building was chosen to show the design house’s new collection.

The show began as the sun set and featured Chanel’s major cruise silhouettes, which were a blend of masculine and feminine designs, chic and edgy at the same time. British actress Stella Tenant modeled a long masculine jacket over wide trousers with turn-ups. The look was completed with flat two-tone shoes and a shirt with a fabric belt. This look epitomized Chanel’s spirit of bold modernity, and boyish femininity.

The underlying theme of the collection included a virtuoso interpretation of the traditional Cuban shirt, the guayabera, with its pockets, shoulder tabs and flat pleats. Lagerfeld mischeviously called these the “Cuban tux”. Other highlights of the show included a diaphanous blouse for day, paired with rolled-up chino trousers, while for evening, the guayabera was teamed with a tightly belted black and almond green flared skirt.

The entire collection exuded youthful energy and audacity. It is incredibly feminine and fluid and includes everything from dresses and jackets with scooped necklines to pencil skirts and ethereal frocks. Cuba’s legendary old Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs feature as prints on many of the garments in pretty candy hues. The color palette is reminiscent of Havana’s Old Town, with lots of yellow, pink, coral orange, turquoise and bright green. There are also tobacco tones and shadowy, cloudy, smoky black and whites.

Chanel’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in the exquisite embroideries. Typically Cuban, they include cigar motifs and birds of paradise. The Panama hat is everywhere, although interspersed with sequined black berets and other accessories included woven flip-flops, sandals worn over cheeky ankle socks, crocheted backpacks and soft bundle bags.

After enjoying an unforgettable performance by Lagerfeld’s exquisite models, 600 stars and celebrities enjoyed an after party at the Plaza de la Catedral in Havana Old Town, the city’s baroque heart. The square, which was decorated in a tropical theme, is situated right in front of one of Latin America’s most beautiful 18th Century churches. Guests included Chanel’s ambassadresses Vanessa Paradis, Gisele Bundchen and Alice Delal, as well as numerous other celebrities such as actresses Tilda Swinton and Geraldine Chaplin, and many more.


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