Last night, Chanel touched down in Havana, Cuba, for its Cruise 2017 runway show—an annual extravaganza that in past years has taken guests to such far-flung locales as Seoul, Singapore, Scotland, and Dubai.
Despite the rumors that have been swirling in the past few days and weeks—that Fidel Castro’s grandson would walk in the show and that Karl Lagerfeld would announce his retirement from the house after 33 years—the evening ended up being a fairly tame affair in terms of breaking news, especially since celebrities were in short supply the day after the Met Gala.
The choice of destination garnered some criticism in the press, as while the U.S. officially restored diplomatic relations with the government last year, Cuba is still a communist country, and about 70 percent of residents live on the average salary of $25 per month.
But Chanel continued undeterred: Among the 600 guests, there were Cuban pop stars, assorted fashion editors, bloggers, Gisele Bündchen, and Tilda Swinton. Models walked down a more-than-500-foot runway accompanied by a live orchestra and choir wearing a rainbow of ruffled dresses, tailored suits, Panama hats, and T-shirts reading “Coco Libre.”
The Coveteur was the only U.S. digital-only outlet in attendance, and they were kind enough to share photos in the slideshow above. Of course, there was plenty of on-the-ground coverage on social media—scroll down to see the best posts.
Everyone was escorted to the show in a motorcade of colorful vintage cars, while locals watched from balconies and sidewalks.
And there was dancing! The models danced:
Even Tilda danced:
Interestingly, Lagerfeld opted to wear a sequined tuxedo jacket designed by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, stoking the rumor mill that perhaps the younger designer, who recently became a free agent, may be chosen as his successor. Watch this space—we certainly will be.