Photo: Courtesy of Chanel 

This is what happened when our fashion director Juliana Schiavinatto joined Chanel’s Cuban takeover. 

Karl knows how to throw a party. #understatement The fiesta started the minute we stepped out of the hotel to find 170 candy-coloured vintage cars waiting to drive us to Chanel’s Resort 2017 show. My heart as set on a pink convertible, but my travel mates—the irrepressible Beckerman twins—jumped in the back seat of an orange Oldsmobile. Let’s just say I had to repress my inner child’s desire to throw a minor fit. That’s so like Karl to make me feel this way—he’s a master at galvanizing a girl’s desires in unexpected ways. As we drove down the Malecón—Havana’s eight-kilometre seaside highway—I soon forgot about the colour of the car and immersed myself in this cinematic-worthy moment. The sun was setting on the water, creating bands of colour worthy of any Van Gogh painting. There was a warm, humid breeze gently lifting my hair, and the soundtrack—street music, honking horns and locals cheering us on from their balconies—unfolded on cue. The show, which was held at Paseo del Prado, opened with a performance from Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. (The French-Cuban duo were featured in Beyoncé’s Lemonade.) The 700-plus guests lined the outdoor walkway while models strolled the runway wearing Cuban-inspired yet quintessentially Chanel looks, like T-shirts layered under pastel tweed jackets and sparkly biker shorts topped with a Panama hat. After the finale, the scene morphed into a street party with drummers, dancers and guests—including Tilda Swinton, Vin Diesel and Gisele Bündchen—joining the models on the runway. Later that night—en route to the afterparty at a pop-up nightclub—I snagged a ride in a pink convertible. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. Muchas gracias, Karl. #vivalacococuba


This story originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of ELLE Canada.