“I won contests,” Lagerfeld said Monday as he put the finishing touches on Chanel’s cruise collection, which he dubbed “Coco Cuba” and paraded Tuesday night on El Paseo del Prado, a handsome tree-lined boulevard framed by four statues of lions, a symbol of Chanel.
The collection riffed lightly on Cuban-isms: The neat vertical pleats of guayaberas — typical men’s shirts — were incorporated into Chanel jackets; beach-y colors and slogans were splashed across nubby tweeds and souvenir T-shirts, and the vivid paint jobs on bulbous Fifties cars were echoed on sequined dresses. One of the latter, in teal, hugged the curves of Lindsey Wixson — a wiz at sashaying down a runway — like a fender does a tire on a vintage Chevy.
Lagerfeld’s affection was also plain on the runway. Forgetting a few feathery mambo sleeves that had a whiff of Tropicana, he etched the Latin theme lightly and blended it with Parisian chic. There was a host of long and frothy dresses with full skirts, gleaming cha-cha numbers, a surfeit of great knits and lots of crafty touches, including fringing and loose, macramé weaves.
“The collection is an idea of a chic and modern Cuba,” he said. “It’s easy pieces.”
Accessories included jaunty straw Panamas and sparkly black berets, which could be seen as a wink to the French capital – or Che Guevara, a major figure of the Cuban Revolution in the Fifties.