[HAVANA, CUBA.] It’s an exciting time for Cuba a lot is about to change there – hopefully for the better -and history has been made thanks to the luxury brand CHANEL for being the first major corporation to present there. Since the announcement last year, I’ve been gearing up for this epic trip to Old Havana. A part of me just thought this would be just a wishful dream and then bit by bit it became a reality. As President Obama cultivated and established a better relationship with Cuban officials and made his way to speak to the Cubans with his own daughter translating his entire address. Influential US citizens left no time to spare and found whatever means to enter the Caribbean Island. It’s a no brainer that Karl Lagerfeld would be the first to make this memorable-exciting step into an unknown world really. To me it’s pretty much equivalent to the United States setting foot on the moon first, such a big deal.
This isn’t the first time Lagerfeld has taken the show outside of Paris; last year CHANEL showed in Seoul, South Korea before then there were other spots like Dubai, Venice, Singapore and Miami for their cruise collection. Weeks leading up to the show I kept looking online to familiarize myself with Cuba – mainly, I was worried about where I was going to stay since there isn’t commercial hotels there luckily Airbnb existed so that’s the route I took for lodging. The only five star hotel was El Hotel Nacional de Cuba which wasn’t really close to the actual location for the show at El Paseo del Prado and I really wanted to experience a more native lifestyle. After arriving in Cuba I was rudely awaken from my fantasies of a paradise in Cuba to the reality of a country that’s beyond poor and malnourished.
It was a nice adventure seeing places from google images come to life with added extra’s in witnessing the CHANEL production team set up and rehearse the show beforehand. Prior to the fashion show I went to the Karl Lagerfeld Obra en Proceso Exhibition in Old Havana make sure to look at the photos I posted from the exhibit.
The automobiles from the 50’s had to be my favourite part of it all, upon arrival – it was a bit hectic to soak up everything all at once from expensive luxury to insufficient fortunes with an excitement to witness hollywood glamour en vivo. If I could have been surrounded with the locals and heard their reaction to the show – that would have been a better experience I think. What stood out to me most were the ethnic models that resembled Cuban natives but I didn’t like that there was a pale model with an afro wig, come on. Really? That was the only tasteless thing CHANEL did this collection. However, the head-to-toe white outfits were a direct Cuban reference to ladies I saw on the streets that wore all white all day; it represented their religious careers. The kids-wear stole the show in my opinion. The loud colourful prints captured my attention and of course the accessories, mainly the neckpieces were life goals. All-in-all Lagerfeld did a great job blending his world of CHANEL with that of cuban undertones.
After the show I was inspired by Che Guevara in being rebellious and decided not to attend the afterparty because all I wanted was a nice cold relaxing shower and sleep since I had to wake up early for my flight the next day. And I met Frederikke Sofie who was on my same flight to cancun, she modeled two looks from the show. Of course there was so much more I wanted to include in the review for the show and my trip to Cuba if we ever get a chance, I’ll tell you more about it.
Inherit Love, I AM,