When the venerable house of CHANEL announced that they would be holding this season’s Cruise Collection show in Havana Cuba, the fashion world went into a totally tizzy. The show is always hotly anticipated, previous collections have been shown everywhere from Singapore to Dubai, but with this season’s location, the level of excitement and anticipation was feverish. Monsieur Lagerfeld, ever both the innovator and memory keeper of Mademoiselle Chanel’s legacy, chose a location that was rich with symbolism and debuted a collection that was both joyfully colorful and achingly elegant.
Held on Paseo del Prado, Havana’s main artery, as the sun set, guests were treated to a show that tapped into their senses both visually and aurally. The Paseo del Prada, beyond being one of the city’s most famous thoroughfares, was actually designed by a French architect in the first half of the 20th century. Most auspiciously, the beautiful boulevard is home to eight spectacular bronze statues of lions, one of Mademoiselle Chanel’s totems and a recurring motif throughout the house’s history. Marrying traditional French finishings and sartorial techniques, by the great Lesage and Montex workshops no less, with traditional Cuban elements and design inspiration, the CHANEL 2016/2017 Cruise collection is a celebration of the two nations through the eyes and creative mind of Monsieur Lagerfeld.
With legendary super model Stella Tennant opening the show in a look so perfectly CHANEL (photo four in this post), the perfect mix of the masculine and the feminine in the house’s iconic color combination of black and white and topped with a Maison Michel Panama hat, the tone was set for a truly gorgeous collection. With a color palette largely inspired by the baroque facades of old Havana, there were yellows, pinks, oranges, bright greens, and dreamy turquoise tempered with smokey and sultry blacks and whites. Another standout of the collection was the so-called “debutant dress.” According to Monsieur Lagerfeld, this frothy white creation of tiered and embroidered organza topped with a beautifully contrasting mess jacket and crisp white shirt and tie (pictured below), is a jubilant representation of bold modernity and boyish femininity.
Cheeky prints and the classic CHANEL tweed can also be found throughout the collection as well as elegant finishings of sequins, feathers, fringes, and delicate embroidery. Another theme that featured heavily though the collection was the traditional Cuban guayabera shirt, re-imagined thought the elegant eyes of Monsieur Lagerfeld and shown with both chic rolled-up chino trousers and as a diaphanous and sultry sheer organza blouse for evening when paired with a skirt.
As for accessories, I’ll be dedicating an entire post to these beautiful accompaniments on Friday that you won’t want to miss!
Photos via CHANEL