“¡Viva CoCo Libre!” No, it’s not a battle cry. Instead, it’s the three word summation of Karl Lagerfeld’s Resort 2017 Fashion Show which took place in Cuba this year. I honestly can’t think of a better phrase to capture the spirit of such an exciting collection and destination. No stranger to international venues, Lagerfeld did not disappoint as all eyes were fixated on his old v. new world interpretation of resort style with a variety of familiar Cuban influences. So as the temperature rises here at home, I’ve been feeling inclined to work some CoCo Libre into my Spring/Summer wardrobe.
This collection was much more than an assortment of pastel linens and colorful beachwear. Starting with traditional black and white hues, the cumber buns and fedoras had me replaying the Smooth Criminal melody over and over in my head. The collection then slowly transitioned into warmer toned separates with printed tulle, pastel tweeds, washed denim and bold stripes. An extensive selection of knitwear groupings soon followed, along with the introduction of the key “¡Viva CoCo Libre!” ringer tee which appears in variations throughout the remainder of show. Next, pattern play reigned supreme with expertly mismatched metallics and vintage car prints, rounded off by two of this season’s footwear favorites: classic, two-toned oxfords and the street style sandal solution, rubber slides. The final looks paraded down the runway in true Chanel fashion with flirty, cupcake colored minis that dazzled under the Paseo del Prado street lights.
It’s almost impossible not to see the collection and get inspired. Immediately, two of my no-brainer stand-outs were the berets and fedoras. Call me a “hat person,” but they’re such easy add-ons.. especially on humid summer afternoons when my hair refuses to cooperate. If you’re still not sold, many of the printed separates and maxi dresses can be recreated as everyday summer essentials. The key to incorporating prints is to find colors that compliment each other, in this case: reds, greens, yellows and blues. The Fendi jacket and Dolce & Gabbana pants are good examples of bright separates that can be paired with like patterns. I particularly love the idea of matching the Theory polka-dot top or a distressed ringer tee with striped pants.
But, you can’t have resort wear without maxi dresses right? Paul & Joe have cool, lightweight options both solid and printed. The embroidered white maxi is the perfect stand alone piece or add a pop of color by cinching a belt around the waist. You also can’t go wrong with the tropical printed maxi for a poolside dinner or just because you’re feeling fabulous one day. And, nothing says Cuba like easy breezy linen pieces from the Totême shorts and the Junya Watanabe white shirt, which make the Maison Margiela mesh oxfords or No. 21 slides natural shoe choices. Let’s face it.. BREATHABILITY IS KEY.
I’ve never been to Cuba, but I have lived in the Caribbean and this collection reminded me of all things I miss most: the music, the weather and the culture. Maybe it’s something in the crystal blue waters, but there is a palpable ease to tropical life that Lagerfeld captured beautifully in both the collection and his show at Paseo del Prado. I don’t know about you, but now I can’t help but crave a dose of those hot Havana nights.
Brands we love: Eugenia Kim “Bianca” Feather-Trimmed Straw Fedora, Gucci “Thelma” Metallic Crochet Knit Beret, Tory Burch “Tara” Fringed Metallic Tweed Skirt, Dolce & Gabbana Striped Silk-Satin Straight-Leg Pants, Paul & Joe Printed Silk-Crepe Maxi Dress, Paul & Joe Embroidered Tulle Maxi, Fendi “Bird of Paradise” Print Matelassé Satin Jacket, Junya Watanabe Linen Shirt, Theory “Biritta” Polka-dot Silk-Crepon Blouse, Totême “Tanzania” Linen and Cotten-Blend Shorts, Gucci Horsebit-detailed Leather Loafers, No.21 Knotted Suede Slides, Maison Margiela Mesh-Side Oxfords
By Ariel Serano