Our newest addition to the Blush team, Josie Johnson (great name) looks to the Chanel show (and her roots) for a Cuban inspired Summer.
I was born and raised in the UK so my Cuban heritage has always been slightly in the background. My Grandma’s silk scarves set against her mahogany skin and red lipstick, always struck me as incredibly stylish, but I never really made the link between her beauty and the Cuban aesthetic.
Chanel’s Coco Cuba Cruise show dreamt up by Karl Lagerfeld, helped me connect the dots and drew attention, in the most ‘Chanel’ of ways, to the glory of Havana and the effortless sex appeal and strength of Cuban women. The show featured panama hats, fans, vintage 50s prints, Havana’s iconic pastel colours, leggings, slides, maximalist jewellery and fresh, bronzed faces.
All week I’ve found myself trying to reconnect with that look; foregoing straighteners in favour of my natural curl; skipping mascara to focus on bronzer and choosing big, vibrant accessories over my usual simplicity. All of this to the sound of Afro-Cuban music, whilst happily indulging in the sharp but sweet tastes of my childhood: mango, pineapple, lime, coconut, sugarcane and of course, rum.
England’s brief spell of sunshine obviously played a small part in this summery urge. It probably sounds ridiculous that a Chanel show could affect a person so greatly, but therein lies the power of fashion, awakening that urge to reinvent oneself with every season.
Get the Look:
In terms of style, Cubanos tend to move towards accentuating the female form. Think tight jeans, pencil skirts, cold shoulder tops (pictured above: Topshop, £45) and dresses; perfect for this summer.
Next: accessories. Pile curls on top of your head and hold them in place with a tied silk headscarf, or tousle your hair with salt spray and top with a Che Guevara style beret or panama hat.
Hoop earrings are a classic, but feel free to experiment with bold jewellery here. Mango have a brilliant range of maximalist accessories, featuring plastic lemons, cacti, tassels and flamingos, all of which will work perfectly. Try to keep that 50s/60s iconography in the back of your mind as you search, particularly when it comes to sunglasses, which should be elegant and glamourous enough to offset a masculine tumbler of rum and a giant cigar.
Paint your nails in a vibrant holiday hue. Essie (£6.95) and OPI are well known for their highly pigmented and long lasting range of colours.
The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze dry oil (£16, Body Shop) is an excellent dupe for Estee Lauder’s sold out Bronze Goddess, and will bring an all-over sun kissed glow to any skin tone.
Go easy with makeup and focus on emphasising features rather than concealing perceived imperfections. The Chanel beauty team did dewy skin, allowed freckles to show, let naturally bushy brows be and only lightly filled in the sparser ones. Ilamasqua’s Beyond Highlighter in Epic (£32, Lookfantastic) is ideal for bringing warmth and radiance to the high points of your face, and The Body Shop’s new Lip and Cheek Stains (£8, Body Shop) give nourishing and lightweight touches of pink that are perfect as a finishing touch.
Watch the show here:
Words by Josie x