This week, Karl Lagerfeld (without having visited the country previously) released an entire collection based on his perceptions of this time-warped and beautifully ageing country. Models cha-cha'd down the catwalk (Havana's Paseo del Prado flanked by Cuba's notably colourful cars from the 1950s), some smoking cigars and others decked out in Che Guevara-esque black berets.
Cuba is indeed a picturesque spot, and while I think it's great to promote tourism to the area, a small part of me feels a little discomfort between the dichotomy of ultra-luxe Chanel (which most of us in the developed, Western world can't afford) in Cuba, a country where people earn about US$20/month and food remains relatively scarce and subject to rations (for example, ice cream is only available on certain days of the week).
I will attempt to overcome my white, middle class guilt complex though, and go with the flow. Go and visit Cuba! It's a most fabulous country - beautiful, complicated and full of a the vim for life that can only come from a nation of people truly living an island life: unaffected by constant change, glorious concerns generated by the multitude of options that economic and social progression offers, and the pressure that social media and a bombardment of advertising imagery so well-advanced in its psychological manipulations that it can push the buttons of even the most confident of cats. And if you can afford to take your Chanel slip-ons, then best of luck to you - please spend lots of money in this wonderful country.
|Cuban drivers catch a glimpse of some of the world they've been missing these last few decades|