Designer Stella McCartney with an actor portraying Fidel Castro at her Resort 2016 presentation. Photo: Getty Images
There were lots of jaw-dropping things at Stella McCartney’s resort presentation on Monday night: canary yellow dresses, pony-print pants, and—on the people-watching front—Maggie Gyllenhaal, Alicia Keys, and the legendary artist Marilyn Minter.
Also present: Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Or at least, actors pretending to be them. The dynamic duo played a heated game of dominos with several of Stella’s models, while sipping rum and “smoking” chocolate Cuban cigars. Nearby on the dance floor, a live band played as dancers schooled fashion editors in Latin ballroom steps.
McCartney told us the lush collection and event was “a celebration of spring,” and the clothes were definitely blooming with style. But the irony of the party was almost as steep as a 5-inch heel: McCartney famously heralds cruelty-free clothing, while Guevara and Castro aren’t exactly, uh, pacifists—the former leading execution sweeps and training Congo rebels; the latter denying many of his citizens basic civil liberties, according to Human Rights Watch. (Even stranger—McCartney later told Women’s Wear Daily, “I’m always inspired by the liberation of the resort collection,” which is cool because if somebody doesn’t like your outfit, they’re not going to call a firing squad…?)
The Cut’s Instagram of Monday night’s party caused so much uproar that they eventually removed it. Photo: @thecut/Instagram
Guevara and Castro’s presence caused so much outrage on social media that New York Magazine’s the Cut removed their image—captioned “Ever the egalitarian, @stellamccartney invited everyone to her resort garden party.”—from Instagram. After commenters started wondering what exactly was going on, they added an editor’s note: “we are only chronicling this to highlight every aspect of the designer’s presentation from the clothes to the setting.” Eventually, they took the entire thing down, thanks to comments like, “So gross. Brush up on your history.” and “What a shame!”
Just a handful of the comments on the Cut’s Instagram.
But hey—maybe we were all just being punked. After all, McCartney was the only major designer to let Bruno, aka Sasha Baron Cohen, crash her fashion show in the name of batsh*t performance art. So Stella, que pasa?!