It was Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette who gave the world its first glimpse of what daddy had in mind for the Chanel Cruise ’17 show in Cuba, posting a selfie styled as a postcard with the slogan “Greetings from Havana” on Monday. We’re not 100 per cent sure if the famous feline was actually in attendance on Wednesday night when the house turned the city’s atmospheric tree-lined boulevard, the Paseo del Prado, into a runway.
Stella Tennant opened the show, in a rakish our-man-in-Havana ensemble that called to mind the pre-Castro days of the 1930s when the city was full of casinos and Jay Gatsby types smoking cigars.
Mariacarla Boscono’s black halter-necked chiffon dress was accessorised with a beret that would have been trés Che Guevara - were it not for the sequins. (Chanel-owned milliner Maison Michel did the hats).
There was palm-print linen and ‘50s Buick-printed silk, while the underlying sartorial theme, according to the official press notes, was “a virtuoso interpretation of the guayabera, the traditional Cuban shirt with pockets, shoulder tabs and flat pleats.” Lagerfeld has apparently dubbed it the ‘Cuban tux’.
We wonder what the locals made of the Chanel ship sailing into Havana this week (okay, so it was several planes, but you know what we mean), bringing with it all the glitz and glamour of a modern multi-million-dollar fashion extravaganza.
The after-party swung late into the night in Havana Old Town, its beauty augmented by that of friends of the house: Gisele (in another of those berets), Tilda Swinton in monastic white, Vanessa Paradis and Alice Dellal and Caroline de Maigret.
This was the first of the mega shows that have become the norm for a handful of the world’s most influential fashion houses when it comes to Cruise – that is, the shoulder-season before Spring. Louis Vuitton will stage its Cruise 17 event in Rio on May 28 at the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, with Gucci showing in London on June 5 - in Westminster Abbey no less.