HAVANA TIMES — On May 3rd, I was left with the desire to enjoy the aged and renowned Karl Lagerfeld and his retinue of glamorous models.
Since hearing the news months before about his visit to my beautiful Cuba, I thought the fashion show would somehow be enjoyed by the people, or at least those interested in those types of events. However, to my and many people’s surprise, things didn’t transpire as they did with the Rolling Stones.
This time around, I dressed up for the ball but didn’t get in, because, when I got to the Paseo de Prado promenade, I discovered it was impossible to get close and I was assailed by a feeling of being a second-rate citizen, denied even the possibility of enjoying a fucking fashion show.
It’s that I enjoy fashion a lot and I would have liked to savor the show, as a Cuban living in Cuba who feels that that part of Havana also belongs to him, as it does each and every one of us.
We have the right to enjoy certain developments that are part of an ongoing history, built every day and every year, even that fashion show, which wasn’t even announced on the news. I wonder why that was.
I also wonder how much money did they pay to close off the entire street and to own the place for a few hours? Why the decision to turn it into a private showing? Is this how things go in other countries?
Why didn’t Karl Legerfeld simply go to Hollywood and recreate a set with the appearance of the Prado to stage his show there? He wouldn’t even have needed to hire Latino extras, as he made it very clear he didn’t want any human being of Cuban nationality around him, not unless they were Party bigwigs who do use Chanel and keep abreast of the latest in fashion, as many of them can travel freely to wherever they please.
I believe the best thing Cuba and Havana have is their people, those people who, despite not knowing much about these fashions, would have attended the show to be able to witness something truly new, people who would have even enriched the whole performance. But no, this gentleman opted to leave the people with several photo series, currently on display at the Factoria Habana gallery located on O’Reilly Street, Old Havana.
Many of the people who went there are perhaps unaware it’s the same artist who rented the whole of the Prado promenade to make his whim a reality, to realize his dream of being in Havana, so much in vogue these days, and that he didn’t care one bit about the Cuban public.
The photographs of his work are good. They have the quality of an artist with a budget and big ideas, ideas that can be put into practice when one has every resource within reach.
I won’t deny I enjoyed the exhibition fully. I am very much attracted by the world of fashion and some of my work is fashion-related, though, of course, not of the quality of the work by this respected personality in the world of art and showbiz.
To be honest, I really wanted to see the artist and his models in person, just out of curiosity, to confirm if, seeing them up close, I could be moved by the show, as I was moved by the Rolling Stones concert.
I am of the belief that, when a work of art, be it a photograph, a song or a simple written phrase moves you, then it has value, even though every human being has a unique perspective, seeing things in their own, different manner.
I hope Karl Lagerfel will return to Havana and that, next time around, he will be altruistic and give the Cuban people an opportunity to enjoy the show, and to also discover his work as he is totally unknown to many here in Cuba.
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