Set at Havana’s Paseo de Prado, Chanel’s Coco Cuba Collection was sure to cause a stir. Recurring car motifs, fedoras, berets, the guayabera, banana leaf embroideries, and even a bag shaped like a Cuban cigar box! All paid obvious homage to the host city of the collection. Viva Coco Cuba!
It was impossible not to fall in love with nearly everything in this colourful collection. However, not being fortunate enough to possess an endless budget I had to select my pieces carefully. An exquisite pastel blue tweed, which came in a classic jacket and a fringed pencil skirt, spoke to me instantly. The skirt of course with its fun tassels won the battle of the blue tweed and was the piece that ultimately came home. Well, alongside a few t-shirts and a cutout sweater!
With the skirt, what I particularly fell in love with were the intricate details that otherwise would go largely unknown if not for me sharing them. The tweed is a very special one handcrafted by Maison Lesage and the process used to create the colours can only be described as mindblowing. As if a microcosm of Cuban architecture itself, the individual fibers that compose the tweed are dyed and left to age and fade in the sun, to mimic how the iconic buildings of Cuba have faded over time. Once painted in gloriously vivid colours, many Cuban buildings have worn away in neglect and poverty to resemble the soft pastels we see today. This tweed therefore pays homage to the faded beauty of a country frozen in time, infusing meaning (and to me great sadness) into the pieces crafted from this fabric. However conversely it also sings of great hope - that beauty and creativity can triumph and rise above the setbacks plaguing this nation.
Details like this transform Chanel into more than just a fashion label. I cannot name any other fashion house that goes to that extent instilling meaning into even the unnoticed details, let alone a message that is so profoundly powerful and beautiful. Maybe you can now understand the reason why I am entranced by Chanel collection after collection. It’s the symbolism and stories infused into each and every piece that makes discovering a collection a magical experience.
I also commend Chanel on their fabulous job at respecting the Cuban culture, despite the show being criticized by the media as a contentious display of wealth. Showcasing millions of dollars worth of clothes in a place where doctors earn as little as $80 a month was always condemned to seem like exploitation by those wanting to sell their papers. What however was neglected in such articles is that Chanel’s Cruise line presented in Havana was not only the best tourism advertisement possible, it has also paved the way for further commercial opportunities. This will help to stimulate desperately needed income. However more importantly, it will inspire the people of Cuba to strive to be something greater. To dream the impossible. To overcome their circumstances.
We all need a little inspiration from time to time to keep that spark burning and that gleam in our eye.
What Adrianna is Wearing
Adrianna has paired the Chanel Cuba blue tweed skirt, which the article was centered on, with a Zimmermann silk bustier top that is seasons old. The outfit is completed with a Chanel minaudière from the Cruise Dubai Collection and a staple patent pair of Bruno Frisoni pumps.