While many designers decided to transport editors and buyers to exotic locales for their resort shows this season — Dior to Cannes, Louis Vuitton to Palm Springs, Chanel to Korea and Gucci to New York (from Europe) — Stella McCartney, who shows her pre-collections in New York every year, managed to bring the feel and flavor of Cuba to Nolita for one night only. On Monday night, a garden on Elizabeth Street was transformed into a lively, Cuban-themed fiesta, complete with street performers on stilts, rum cocktails and cigars passed on trays, Che Guevara lookalikes playing dominos as models looked on, and a live band with salsa dancers on hand to set the groove.
Under trees lined with streamers, models twirled in colorful, voluminous gowns with ruffled hems — looks that were practically made for a Caribbean holiday. Elsewhere, spring-ready looks adorned with wildflowers, broderie anglais and a wild horse print were on display, ranging from airy, feminine dresses to more structured, menswear-inspired separates. The accessories for the season were as lively as the party itself, with shoes inspired by dancing slippers, jazzy jewelry with a musical note motif and plexiglass embellishments that made for a fun, pop-art effect.
McCartney's festive oasis was only a few short blocks from our office, but it felt like we were treated to a mini summer vacation, accompanied by models shimmying with maracas and guests like Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne, Liv Tyler, Miranda Kerr all taking advantage of the tropical bar and snow cone stand. Click through the gallery below for scenes from the presentation.