Chanel takes Havana: Karl Lagerfeld presents the cruise collection in Cuba

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  • Havana good time? Karl Lagerfeld certainly is...

    Two things we didn’t know before Chanel held their latest fashion show in Cuba; one, Karl Lagerfeld was once a champion cha-cha dancer and two, his favourite song is Mambo Number Five. Yup, let that set the scene for last night’s festivities, as Chanel took over Havana to present their pre-spring 2017 collection. Here’s what you need to know…

    The catwalk itself was very significant
    One of Havana’s oldest avenues, the Paseo del Prado boulevard, was transformed into Karl’s glossy private catwalk – a street lined with colourful colonial buildings. The front row sat on actual street benches, and as the guests arrived, their rainbow of vintage American convertibles parked up in the roads either side. Karl’s making history with this one, presenting the first ever fashion show on the island and commented that he was inspired by the ‘cultural richness and opening up of Cuba.’ The last time high fashion had any presence in the country was when Christian Dior opened a concession in Havana’s El Encanto, just before Fidel Castro took over in the 1950s.

    Gisele returned to the runway…

    Well, almost. From the moment she hopped on a Cuba-bound flight and started posting Insta-images from the back of an old Cadillac, the rumour mill went into overdrive that the supermodel was coming out of retirement. Alas, she was ‘just’ a guest of honour, much like Tilda Swinton, Vin Diesel and the rest of Karl’s A-list front row.

    The collection was your dream Latin getaway wardrobe
    As cruise wardrobes go, this was pretty perfect offering from the Kaiser – pack this lot in your suitcase and you could comfortably travel for months. Beach colours and souvenir t-shirts punctuated the French classics – optic white Broderie anglaise, summer tweed suits in lighter weight fabrics. Those vintage cars made it into the prints, too, and every look was topped off with a Chanel panama hat.

    Guests really got to explore
    Chanel gave every visitor a guide book and allowed them to get out and explore the country’s rich culture. Ernest Hemingway’s old bolthole, Finca Vigía, was a popular choice for some editors, while Gisele took on Revolution Square. And models Binx Walton and Mica Arganaraz did what we think was the best idea of all – they took a road trip with the top down from Havana to Viñales, a tobacco farming town with stunning botanical gardens.

    A street party broke out after the show

    Naturally. Drummers, dancers and Karl Lagerfeld himself emerged to get the party started on the boulevard, as models jumped back into the convertible cars for the Insta-opportunity of a lifetime. Havana good time? That doesn’t even begin to tell it with this one…

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