Chanel has been overcome with Cuban fever, staging an incredible riot of music, ready-to-wear and dancing in the colourful streets of Havana
Well that's one way to stage a fashion coup. In case you missed it on your Instagram feed yesterday, Chanel hosted its much-anticipated Cruise '17 show in the Cuban capital of Havana. The show was held on the iconic boulevard, Paseo del Prado, which, for those who've been to Cuba will attest, is one of the most majestic parts of the city. Nestled between Old and New Havana, Paseo del Prado boasts the tree-lined atmosphere of Paris, mixed with the crumbling colonial architecture so specific to Havana.
Chanel invited 700 guests to the show, transporting them to the event using a fleet of Havana's legendary Cadillacs, Buicks and vintage cars - of course, Karl chose the shiniest, brightest and most iconic models for the job. As (human) models sashayed down the tiled centre of the street and guests such as Gisele Bündchen, Caroline de Maigret and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld perched casually on the sidelines to watch, Havana locals leaned out on their balconies to watch the spectacle with good humour. The clothes themselves - an array of sequinned dresses, vibrant Cadillac-prints, Spanish ruffles and flamenco skirts undercut with pool slides and T-shirts - were suitably youthful, supercharged and optimistic, mirroring the renewed sense of hope for this new chapter in Cuba's history. As Karl Lagerfeld made subtle nods to Cuban culture - Panama hats, cigar boxes fashioned into clutches and satchels emblazoned with 'Coco Cuba' - this nailing of the zeitgeist proved why he's earned the nickname King Karl.
And the finale - a raucous, effervescent affair filled with brass bands, drum beats, clapping and a Karl Lagerfeld/Hudson Kroenig turn down the runway followed by dancing and twirling models - was as spirited, magical and Insta-worthy as a fashion show should be.