Irina Pino

Personas en la calle esperandoHAVANA TIMES — With the recent opening of relations between Cuba and the United States, our little island is in the public eye: cruisers full of tourists, commercial films like Fast and Furious being shot here, visits by personalities from the cultural world, and finally a fashion show by the French label Chanel.

The catwalk in question would be on the Paseo del Prado promenade, where self-employed people usually set up to sell paintings and photographs.

The Cruise 2016-2017 collection, by the German designer, Karl Lagerfeld, sparked tremendous expectations among many people, who were preparing to attend the first live catwalk with famous models and actresses invited. We had thought everyone interested could appreciate this show, only seen in films; however the reality would prove different.

This fashion house was created by designer Coco Chanel, a figure of humble origins and very controversial. It is said she had good relations with the Nazis, and couldn’t stand Jews. But the fact is that this woman was able to prevail in this sophisticated world, and created original feminine designs, implementing comfort coupled with elegance. She became one of the richest women in the world.

But everything fell apart when it was learned that the parade would only be for special guests, and therefore the people could not approach even a stretch where the show would take place. I went with two friends, and I realized that people were not informed, as we waited patiently to be allowed to cross through Prado, since the catwalk would the end near the malecon sea avenue.  Then someone went up to ask the police.

They said that no one could pass, you had to be invited. Then a person coming from the Cathedral said there were also barriers there blocking public access. Why?

Law enforcement officials explained that there would be a farewell dinner and would only be the VIP. And one person said they saw on the Internet that the dinner cost 150 CUC a plate.

My friends and I regretted having paid collective taxi fares and spent snack money, and lost the entire afternoon, enduring the torrid temperature. Then, tired, we parted and each headed home.

The parade could only be seen by the elite and a few neighbors from their balconies. For others, not even a souvenir photo.

So why had there been so much promotion, both on the television news, and online portals? As the country transforms, access to culture becomes more expensive.


2 thoughts on “Fashion Show for the Elite

  • The approval of this farce is yet another indication of the Castro regime endeavoring to fool the world at large that change is taking place in Cuba. It isn’t! For Cubans there has been no form of visible change but some in the free world have been successfully suckered. Francois Hollande, Socialist President of France (with an all-time low in popularity) visited Cuba and invited Raul Castro to visit the Elysee Palace, an invitation which Raul seized with alacrity and took his new hand tailored suits and silk ties to Paris. The EC sent it’s Foreign Minister an Italian lady to sign up and restore normal relations with Cuba giving the pint-sized Bruno Rodriguez every reason for a satisfied smile as he emerged from the negotiations Then the UK acted similarly with their Foreign Minister yapping about undefined change in Cuba. However Barack Obama called their bluff by saying that apart from diplomatic change, change had to be reciprocal. Although attending the baseball game with Raul, a week later a venomous letter supposedly written by Fidel but more probably by the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba was read on Mesa Redondo (FOUR CHANNELS) at the peak viewing period of 7.00 p..m. The following day Bruno Rodriguez gave a speech saying that removal of the embargo had to be a unilateral action by the US, there would be no reciprocity.
    Clearly, the Castro family regime and the PCC recognize that virtually any change in the conditions which they impose on the long suffering people of Cuba would require diminution of their power and control and they simply cannot afford to ease those as doing so would threaten their grip.

  • Welcome to the 21st century.

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