Seven hundred guests of Chanel were taken to the open-air street show in a multicolored convoy of the city’s open-top Buicks, Cadillacs, and Oldsmobiles. The owners tooted their horns through the streets of Old Havana, while people came out to line the streets, crowd dilapidated balconies and rooftops, wave and laugh.
The Chanel Resort 2017 collection featured French-Cuban staple: The beret. There were sparkly black versions scattered throughout, as well as panamas with Chanel camellias tucked into the hatbands. Even better, as a diplomatic coup: the living embodiment of French-Cuban talent represented by Ibeyi, the twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, who performed at the beginning of the show.
With guests sitting on park benches in the open air of the tree-lined Paseo del Prado, the models strolled naturally in flat brogues, flip-flops, and slides. The collection showcased black spencer jackets over wide-legged cuffed pants; “debutante” dresses with swirly skirts hitting calf length in lace or organza; skinny long tube dresses in macramé or tattered tweed; huge floaty dresses, neatly belted, in ’50s car prints. The Chanel embroiderers had pulled out all the stops, decorating sleeves with dense layers of tattered fabric and sequin-encrusting little dresses in the peachy-pinks, lemony-oranges, and greeny-blues you see in every direction in the intensely beautiful cityscape of Havana. The easy styling, with T-shirts and flats exuded a casual attitude.
The end of the show broke out into an anarchic kind of carnival where the girls and the audience and the local band all got mixed up together, dancing.
Watch the backstage at the Chanel Resort 2017 fashion show in Havana, Cuba.