From the Taino cotton loincloths to the Chanel 2016 Show in Havana, dressing in Cuba has dramatically evolved in the last 500 years. However, traditionally drawn towards European and American styles, it has taken its time to adapt again to the island’s environment and weather.
His name is Narciso, but he’s hardly what you could call a narcissist. For a man who dresses the stars, Narciso Rodriguez is rather modest, despite being a Hollywood red carpet and White House favorite. His name, though, is written in gold letters in the book of fashion design.
Rodriguez’s work simply transcends fashion. The pieces featured flow perfectly with the paintings and sculptures that complement the exhibit. Rodriguez’s designs owe much to Cuban painters and Brazilian architects–he’s a declared fan of Oscar Niemeyer’s. But his couture is beyond a mere appropriation or a reference to others. His work, despite influences, stands by its own merit.
Instead of competing, they complement each other, behaving as one. Ruben’s illustrations are often inspired in her designs and Isabel’s designs help her husband’s watercolors come to life. When she has an idea for a new design, she communicates it to him as a feeling; mostly using her hands. He rapidly translates her gestures into sketches. That’s what makes their clothing unique.