Chanel’s Resort 2017 was surprisingly enough presented in Cuba, with mastermind Karl Lagerfeld embracing Cuba’s communist regime’s recent opening to the US and subsequently, to the rest of the word.
The event was something more than successful, with Gisele Bundchen posing just before the fashion show at the Paseo del Prado street, wearing the traditional-Che Guevara black beret in a sequined version. Fashion is entertainment, is, perhaps, art but as a semiotic phenomenon, it has its political impact and aspect. Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion, told WWD, that the house has no business in Cuba but flew in 100 private clients from the U.S, claiming that the Cuban show will provide “content for the rest of the year.”
Chanel is the first major fashion house to hold a runway show in Cuba with Karl Lagerfeld embracing the opportunity to create an ethereal,post colonial Cuban-chic that stunned and was highly praised. The Kaiser himself commented that his latest inter-seasonal Cruise collection was inspired by the “cultural richness and opening up of Cuba.”
With Cuba warming relations with the western world, the Chanel show was a strong public declaration of accepting capitalism and materialistic dreams. A message sent to all western world that Cuba could be a possible place for investing.
Yet, Chanel’s Resort 2017 show highlighted the inequalities and the political issues of the island While the spectacular Cuban-influenced show was taking place in a central street of Havana, all residents were kept behind safely barricaded, being prevented from police to approach more than a block away from the spectacle. The show was a Cuban inspired one but inaccessible to Cubans, even while using traditional Cuban items such as Che ‘s beret and Cuban motifs. After all spectators were flew from abroad in order to form a proper FROW. People waiting to get a glimpse of models and other celebrity attendees behind lines and barricades is the real image of the inequality and the misfits of capitalism and of the ‘american dream’ being imported to Cuba via France. After all, its all for the show, since most Cuban cannot afford a sequin of any Chanel’s collection.