Chanel glitz comes to Havana, Cubans watch from afar

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HAVANA: French fashion house Chanel staged its first Latin American catwalk show in newly trendy Havana Tuesday, but ordinary Cubans were left watching the glitz from afar. International celebrities and Cuban bigwigs graced the red carpet as Karl Lagerfeld showed his latest collection, which the German designer infused with the styles and colors of the Caribbean island. Cubans without an invitation to the exclusive event meanwhile packed the balconies of old Havana or lined the police cordon outside, straining to catch a glimpse of the beauties in the distance. “What a sight. But I would have liked to be closer to the models,” said 52-year-old Mireya Correoso, who told Agence France-Presse she had never seen so much luxury and showbiz in one place. It was the latest in a stream of international cultural events on the communist island as it opens up its diplomatic and commercial relations. “The world is finally opening up to Cuba. Everyone wants to come taste the forbidden fruit. Everyone wants to discover it, savor it, enjoy it, explore it,” said Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro and a prominent gay-rights activist on the island. Other high-profile attendees included Hollywood stars Vin Diesel, Tilda Swinton and Geraldine Chaplin.

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AFP

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