Cuban influences are set to be hottest trend this Spring/Summer 2016, and have definitely been a major influencer for many of this seasons collection across the board. Once the tropical playground for the uber-rich, Cuba has always been known as the Pearl of the Caribbean, the birth place of mambo and the mojito, the island in the stream, a place where the rich lived lavishly and dressed to impress. As we once again open the doors to its colorful landscapes we see its influences in clean white outfits, lacey washed out dresses, ruffled skirts with tropical prints, or the bohemian beach hippie. Cuba has become the talk and inspiration of the fashion world and the world in general. Its re-emergence to the public eye calls for the return of Tropical Island Goddess’s. CUBA is what’s HOT. And were all feeling the burn!
Proenza Schouler’s trip to Cuba recently was more than just for inspiration. The duo at Proenza was able to capture Cuba perfectly: a vibrant and tropical island oasis with a crumbling facade. It was an ode to Lazaro Hernandez’s heritage: tropical prints, ruffles, and crochet dresses were their take on the Cuban experience, along with beautiful soft patterned separates. The collection was reminiscent of the personal experience, with subtle references to the native costumes with ruffles and floral prints and to the current conditions of the island; hems were raw with frayed and unfinished edges.
Stella McCartney went all out and threw a Cuban soiree, where guests enjoyed mojitos and chocolate cigars. The clothes included long and voluminous dresses in bright colors that are perfect for dancing the night away; while floral prints were a tributeto the country’s tropical side. A white dress with white knit ruffles was perhaps influenced by what the Cubans refer to as “iyabó,” or people who wear all white when initiated into a weeklong Santería process.
Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring/Summer collection titled, Island Hopping, was inspired by the bright colors of the Caribbean, turquoise waters and the sandy beaches, places that were made for relaxation and the embracing of freedom that fashion can give for self-expression. Silhouettes were relaxed and bright, tropical flora and fauna inspired textiles with the inclusion of vibrant stripes and tropical patchworks added a contrast to the pieces. An element of craftiness was included within the designs with beaded trimming, traditional cricket sweaters and polos being made from crochet and netted mesh. The collection created a sense of wanderlust-tropical island getaway.
Since the move towards a friendlier relationship with the island of Cuba, there is no doubt that all eyes are directed towards it rich and colorful culture, virgin Caribbean waters and endless miles of sandy beaches. Cuba is a time capsule and the thought of getting to experience a bygone era of old cars, daiquiris, cigars, Hemingway’s haunts and hot sticky nights, sound very romantic. But beneath the sexiness of its rich sounds, delicious flavors, tropical scents and an almost movie set like decay, is a country that is decades old with much to show for its rich culture and history. The fight for freedom is not yet over, but it’s far closer than ever before. We hope its ever growing popularity in trends and inspirations help keep its charm while elevating and allowing the gem of the Caribbean to once again flourish.