Whether it’s the allure of old cars cruising down the Malecón or the enchanting beats of son cubano, Cuba, and particularly Havana, has long served as design inspiration for everyone from Chanel to American Eagle. As I prepped for my second trip to the island nation, I knew I wanted beautiful, bold, but feminine silhouettes that could take me from a night out dancing in Havana to exploring the revolutionary town of Santa Clara to hours in the car along the backroads of the eastern half of the island and everything in between.
This Spring 2017, Lafayette 148 New York drew it’s inspiration from 1950s Cuba with bold colours, art deco inspired lines and tropical-chic motifs. Well, with the ease of the embargo and Cuba on everyone’s mind, the island is prime for a Renaissance, a new heyday. Bringing the collection back to the origin of inspiration? How fun! How meta! How ‘N A Perfect World. Come on the road with me and Lafayette 148 New York and shop my looks for your Cuba road trip.
Day 1. We couldn’t wait to take in all of Cuba. First stop, Havana and we were staying right in the heart of old town in Centro Havana. Not quite the restored area of Habana Vieja, Centro Havana is where you’ll see real Cuban life in the shadows of the famed Capitol building. There’s the decaying decadence that the restoration funds haven’t gotten to yet, fruit markets, kids playing béisbol in the streets, wiFi parks under your balcony — real Cuban life.
Like a Boy Scout’s bandana, my Lafayette 148 New York Vanguardia palm silk scarf was invaluable on this trip. Embracing the Havana heat & humidity I went full on island-style and first styled it into a top to pair with my Morton trolley striped pants and leather Vienna sandals. Ready to both sight-see and dance into the night.
Have a fuller figure or bigger bust? Put two scarves together! This “top” takes about 5 minutes to style letting me hit the town in no time after dropping off my bags!
You know I love color play and right outside of our casa particular in Centro Havana I found this fruit market that really made the colors in stripes of my Vanguardia palm silk scarf and Morton pants pop. Design inspiration come to life!
Know that everyday is a “special day” to buy cigars, and that everyone has a friend, or cousin who works at the factory and can get you the best deal.
Take some time to wander this neighborhood in the shadows of the tourist populated Old Havana. You’ll see the life blood of the city.
The covered walkways of Paseo del Prado would be home in many European cities, a nod to Havana’s colonial past.
An end to a beautiful day first day in Havana as the sunsets along the Paseo Martí (née Paseo del Prado) promenade.
Our third (of five) cities we stopped in during this trip was UNESCO site, Trinidad de Cuba. This city definitely has a small town feel and the living seemed a little easier. Catching some Zs and sun at our casa.
Another look with my Vanguardia palm silk scarf at a pit stop at the Bay of Pigs.
Airport day. It was our last day after a week of touring the island. In true Cuban form we thought, “The plane can wait, let’s go have a proper breakfast, take a coffee and enjoy one last jaunt in la Habana vieja.” With my Vanguardia palm silk scarf and the Sawyer linen blouse riffing off of the classic Cuban guayabera shirt and leather Vienna chanclas, I was ready to take this sporty look from sightseeing to the airport; the Lafayette 148 New York take on Cuban essentials. Neutral tones and blending into my surroundings.
By the end of our trip, we all could embody the busy body Cuban neighbor to a t. Perpetually hanging in the doorway, giving unsolicited advice, and most importantly a smile. Few can stop, and “take a moment” better than Cubans. Isis caught me hanging outside of our flat in Cayo Hueso in my full Cubana glory.
Kitschy or not, no trip to Havana is complete without a shot with a shiny, restored, classic car.
Don’t you love it when your café goes perfectly with your look? Enjoying one of many café bombónes on my last morning in Havana at Cafe O’Reilly in La Habana Vieja. This institution has been around since 1893.
Every trip has it’s all-star and I don’t know what I would have done without my Lafayette 148 New York leather Vienna sandals. From popping out of the car during long rides to get roadside pizza to dancing the night away in Cuban cities, this chic leather sandal was the perfect shoe for this trip.
PHOTOS BY ALISTAIR MORGAN W/ ISIS LOVE