For the Chanel 2016/17 Cruise collection, Karl Lagerfeld has created a modern and raffish silhouette, blending Parisian audacity with exotic nonchalance. Scintillating colors, upbeat music, a sunny landscape and smiles… The codes of the House flirt playfully with Cuban imagery and culture. This collection’s ultra-chic and boyish adventurer displays a contemporary look that’s bold, refined and unique to Chanel.
A festive mood, ultra-chic and colorful
To a pulsating rhythm, the brand’s iconic bags filed by, from fanny packs and backpacks to shoppers, bucket bags and minaudières. An explosion of colors in khaki, red, navy and royal blue, green, pink, coral and oranges, alone or fused in luminescent combinations. From sparkling embroideries to handcrafted macramé, the Chanel handbag line constantly bounced back and forth from joyful to ultra-chic, from simple to sophisticated.
Simplicity and joie de vivre
Sometimes as a flap bag and sometimes as a backpack embroidered with multi-colored braiding. Sometimes as oversize backpacks resembling bundles, fastened with a cascading chain woven with leather and carried with a handle or large straps. Macramé, this fabric made from knots and woven by hand in a typically Cuban artisanal style that celebrates simplicity, enthusiasm and joie de vivre.
Bags with a message
Entirely embroidered with sequins, flap bags with chain straps woven through with leather and metal hide a secret message. Stroke the sequins and reveal the words “Coco Cuba” on the flap! This game of reversible sequins adorns a casual fanny pack too, also available in canvas and stitched with badges.
A military-casual spirit for a boyish yet refined adventurer
Military canvas is omnipresent: on backpacks, bucket bags, shopper bags wearable in two ways, on the revisited iconic bags and in fringed chevron patchwork. This sturdy canvas is given a twist on a shopper with a pocket inspired by the Guayabera, the traditional Cuban shirt that’s a common theme throughout the collection. Embellished with refined feminine ornamentation, the backpacks are embroidered with sequins and sparkling braiding in the colors of the national flag. An even more precious version exists in a sequin-embroidered orange tweed embedded with the figure of Coco Chanel wearing a faux pearl necklace. These handcrafted embroideries and printing techniques require one to three days of meticulous work for each backpack.
Hoops, hammocks and big cigars for a laid-back elegance
Big hoop earrings in gold metal – the Cuban girls’ favorite accessory – are used, along with a military shoulder strap, as handles on a bucket bag crafted from a new quilted fabric. With their moon shape and metal attachments, the hammock, a symbol of the balmy Cuban lifestyle, inspires supple bags with generous volumes. In stripy canvas, ribbon tweed woven by the House of Lesage and occasionally embellished with fringes, these bags are based on the color combinations found on the silhouettes in the collection. We also find this spirit of duality between Ready-to-Wear and accessories on a clutch in over-stitched canvas printed with same Viva Coco Cuba libre! slogan as an emblematic t-shirt.
For evening the designer takes on another prominent Cuban symbol: the cigar. He transforms the cigar box into a contemporary minaudière. A tweed minaudière enveloped in slivers of wood and held by a delicate chain inter-woven with leather completes the silhouette of this Cruise collection that’s masculine-feminine, terribly chic and subtly raffish.
Photos and video courtesy of Chanel