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Chanel brings catwalk extravaganza to Cuba

Chanel brings catwalk extravaganza to Cuba

Chanel staged its first ever runway show in Cuba on Tuesday night (03May16).

Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of the French luxury brand, brought his Resort 2017 collection to the capital Havana, even though Chanel goods are not sold in the Communist-ruled island nation.

The runway show saw models parade down the open-air catwalk in the Paseo del Prado, a major street which acts as the dividing line between Old and New Havana, and the show reflected that, with guests such as model Gisele Bundchen ushered into the event in the brightly-coloured vintage convertibles, which are iconic on the island.

Attendees sat on benches and chairs scattered throughout the perimeter of the Paseo, with Tilda Swinton, Vin Diesel and Vanessa Paradis among the celebrity attendees.

As for the collection, Lagerfeld, 82, was inspired by the colours of the Caribbean and classic "aesthetics of Cuba", with the vibrant line modelled by Chanel favourites such as Kendall Jenner, Stella Tennant, Mariacarla Boscono and Mica Arganaraz.

"The collection is an idea of a chic and modern Cuba," Lagerfeld said, according to WWD. "It’s easy pieces."

The Latin theme was skilfully blended with Parisian chic, with a host of long and frothy dresses with full skirts, knitwear, and added crafty touches such as fringing and macrame weaves.

Accessories included straw Panama hats and sparkly black berets, which could be seen as a nod to the French capital - or Che Guevara, a major figure of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.

And in keeping with the Cuban spirit, the show skipped the runway traditional finale in favour of a lively fiesta, featuring a conga line of dancing models and local musicians.

Lagerfeld, who has been at Chanel's creative helm since 1983, explained he found Cuba to be very beautiful and "like nothing else in the world".

"It was like a private joke because I thought it was impossible," the German couturier explained. "Suddenly, Cuba is the most talked-about thing in the world and we’re the first with fashion."

The Chanel fashion show is the latest cultural event to be hosted in Cuba, as the country's officials have opened up its diplomatic and commercial relations, after the U.S. and Cuba formally agreed to restore diplomatic relations last July (15).

In March (16), the Rolling Stones became the first major rock act to play in the country since it became Communist in 1959, and action man Vin is currently filming the next instalment of his blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise in Havana.

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