High low 3-tier fit and flare spaghetti strap gown w/criss-cross back detail
100% Silk 4-Ply Crepe
Her Story: Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American singer who is said to be the most popular and influential salsa performers of all time. Born in Havana, she rose to fame in the 1950s, but left her home in Cuba soon after to live in the United States after the ascent of Fidel Castro. Despite her fame across the globe, Fidel never let her return to Havana again because of her defiance. This gown captures the life and bold personality of the real Celia who will always be the queen of salsa.
Her Story: Aline Johnson de Menocal was a Cuban socialite who came from a family of money with deep ties to the island. This gown was inspired by a series of photos that were taken in the late 40s by Life Magazine's Nina Leen of the real Aline. This woman had style, sophistication, and the ultimate high society/cosmopolitan look. This silky pleated wrap dress with detachable train embodies that very style.
Fit and flare lace gown w/scallop detail at neck & train featuring covered buttons at center back w/a detachable train
Her Story: Haydée Santamaría was a Cuban revolutionary and politician and known to many as a heroine in post-revolutionary Cuba. As one of Fidel Castro's trusted associates, she helped found the 26th of July Movement, a revolutionary organization that ended up overthrowing the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in Cuba. She joined forced led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in the Sierra Maestra mountains, and fought for the women's battalion for the rebel army. After the revolution of 1959, she founded la Casa de las Américas, which offered literature, music, painting, and theatre to the Cuban people. This gown, much like the woman its inspired by, has a bold and powerful silhouette, but the hand-appliquéd lace and mixing of fabrics gives the damsel in distress feel.
Fit and flare gown w/plunging style lines at the front, back, and side featuring a soft ruffle along the neckline
100% Silk 4-Ply Crepe w/100% Silk Chiffon Ruffle
Her Story: Aida Diestro was a Cuban pianist and arranger who organized the vocal quartet Cuarteto d'Aida made up of salsa powerhouses Elena Burke, Moraima Secada, Omara Portuondo, and Haydée Portuondo. She started the group in 1952, and by the time of the Cuban Revolution her singers were performing in the most elegant cabarets in Havana. Her group was known for its boleros and romantic ballads. This gown embodies the real Aida with its strong, clean lines and soft, romantic ruffles.
Bias cut sheath w/front and back cowl and scalloped lace sleeves w/button detail
Her Story: Natalia "Naty" Revuelta Clews was a Cuban socialite, but is most well-known as one of Fidel Castro's many lovers. She was thought to be the most beautiful woman in Cuba's high society. It was during their affair in the mid-50s that she conceived his child, Alina, and supported the revolution. Although she was married to another man, she offered their house while he was working as a secret safe haven for Castro to do his planning to overthrow Batista. She did this for love, to protect her unborn child, and in hopes to stay close to him. Fidel was soon arrested and fled to Mexico to finish plotting the revolution of 1959. When he returned to Havana, he went to see Natalia and then found out he had a daughter. Castro rejected her on the spot and refused to recognize Alina as his offspring. It wasn't until Alina was 12-years-old that Fidel recognized her as his daughter, but by then it was too late. Alina despised her father and spent the rest of her life supporting anti-Fidel movements and criticizing her father. Meanwhile, it took many years for Natalia to release Fidel from her heart. This bias cut gown gives the feel of the real Natalia with its subtle sex appeal, but added drama with the scalloped sleeves.
4-tiered lace appliquéd chiffon skirt w/fitted bodice and back button detail
Her Story: Alicia Alonso is a Cuban prima ballerina and choreographer. Born in Havana in the 20s, her mom instilled an affinity for music and dance into her by putting her in dance at a young age. As a teen, she was diagnosed with a detached retina causing her to become partially blind. Soon after her diagnosis she met her husband, a fellow dancer, Fernando. The newlyweds moved to New York City to perfect their craft, and she also received dance therapy there for her depleting eye sight. Her husband worked with her and taught her how to use the lights on the stage and her partner to connect her body to the stage despite her vision. Through the 1940s and 1950s she traveled the world dancing all throughout Western Europe, the US, and becoming the first western dancer to perform in the Soviet Union. When the revolution of 1959 happened, Fidel Castro gifted her with $200,000 to form a dance school in Cuba and guaranteed annual financial support. She took the offer and started the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Due to Alonso's affiliation with the new Cuban regime, she was banned from performing in the US. However, in 1975, at 54-years-old, Castro permitted Alonso to perform in New York City, the place where she had learned her craft decades before. This gown personifies the real Alicia with its layers of chiffon, patches of lace, and true ballerina feel.