Gisele Bundchen marks her modelling comeback debut with Chanel parade in Havana

Posted: 18-May-16 18:01

It was only for a day and to mark a very special occasion - the arrival of Chanel to Cuba with a spectacular fashion show for the first time ever - but it was enough to make Gisele model again and join Karl Lagerfeld's crew of catwalk beauties as they paraded down Havana's beautiful Prado promenade.

Gisele Bundchen marks her modelling comeback debut with Chanel parade in Havana

One of the latest international star to descend upon Havana wasn´t an actress, musician or politician. It was the world´s most famous and once highest-paid model Gisele Bundchen, who after having retired a short while ago returned to the catwalk for a very special occasion indeed – the arrival of Chanel in Havana. And she was in good company too, with the likes of Vanessa Paradis also attending, Kendall Jenner joining her on the catwalk and Tilda Swinton enjoying the show with her boyfriend. Vin Diesel, who was in Havana shooting the eighth installment of the Fast and Furios saga took time out to attend the show too.

Prior to the Chanel show, Gisele was seen and photographed in Havana soaking up the ambience and posing for her own Instagram posts inside a Cocotaxi against the background of the Revolution Square, climbing a giant tree and on the balcony of a colonial building which she captioned:

“Thank you @chanelofficial for this very special experience. #Cuba #ChanelCruiseCuba #ChanelCoco”

She also happily posed seated on the bonnet of a brightly painted classic American car while holding open a matching yellow fan. The black beret on her head was the perfect accessory to make her more Cuban, in resemblance to the revolutionary head attire Che Guevara used to wear. The outfit she chose for her pre-catwalk shots was bright red from head to toe, perhaps as yet another nod to Cuba´s communist past and present.

The collection itself, which Lagerfeld described as inspired by “the cultural richness and opening up of Cuba” featured many colourful elements of Cuban culture with bright, sharp contrasts, a range of soft pastel colours (reminiscent of the island´s colonial facades) and light, breezy fabrics attune with Cuba´s sizzling temperatures. An overall sense of “joyful improvisation” dominated the show, clearly influenced by Cubans´ own kaleidoscopic sense of style, more dominated by their limited selection of outfits which they combine as best as they can than by fashion itself, but nevertheless inspirational for Chanel as the backdrop to their Cruise collection 2017 – and it proved a sensational hit!

The garments included Che-style berets complete with their iconic centric star and perfectly complemented with shoulder-cut blouses showing plenty of cleavage and displaying a colourful print pattern with vintage Cuban cars motifs. Classically Cuban to the core in many aspects but with added Chanel chic and glamour like the island hadn´t seen since 1959, when the only Dior boutique in the capital closed its doors.

Chanel opened the world of high-end boutique fashion in Cuba and it did so at the long Paseo del Prado promenade, which last 3rd May officially became the world´s longest catwalk.

Celebrating a new chapter for Cuba in fashion and a new season of style, Gisele along with all the other high-profile celebrities who attended Chanel´s Cuban debut, were proud to be part of this special historic time in fashion history. Chanel declared that the whole idea behind staging a show in Cuba was a gesture of support to the country and to spur creativity among young entrepreneurs amidst the country´s opening economy. In fact it had been stipulated by Chanel that non-officially-invited Cuban guests be able to be part of the audience and watch the show.

After all the selected location was open-air and the longest and widest of elegantly promenades in the city, beautifully fringed by trees against the backdrop of decaying yet majestic, pastel-coloured colonial buildings. Financially, as confirmed by Chanel´s President of Fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel had nothing to gain by doing a show here. But the fact of the matter will remain, whatever happens after, that Chanel did it first, it became the first luxury brand to stage a legendary collection show here and it did so in very public pomp and flair with plenty of glamour to match. Havana will certainly not forget it in an instant, neither will the fashion world for whom Cuba has become a new inspirational canvas full of possibilities.


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