From Designs by Hemingway – “My love of Cuba began back in the 1980s when I lived in Key West, Florida. On December 17, 2014 when President Obama announced that the US was going to make significant changes in our relations with the Cuban people, my heart skipped a beat! Finally the forbidden country would be accessible to American citizens. I started planning my trip to Cuba but I never dreamed that I would be coordinating a styled photo shoot on my first incredible visit there!
From Designs by Hemingway – “With photographers Matthew Ree from NYC see his take on Cuba here) & Jeannemarie Photography from Honolulu Hawaii (whose work you see here today), we headed to Cuba for an amazing adventure together. My first impression of Havana was so surreal; it was as if we were in a time warp traveling back to the 1950s & stepping onto a movie set that someone forgot to tear down. Within an hour of arriving, we were wandering & exploring on foot through the streets of Havana. The weathered patina colors, amazing textures, patterned tiles, & narrow streets kept us in a daze of ‘where are we?’ – the place is beyond words!”
From Designs by Hemingway – “One of our editorial shoots (the one you see here today) was staged in a classic beaux-arts style 1920’s home in Havana that is still occupied by the original owner, Josie Alonso & family. After the 1959 revolution, the Cuban government seized commercial assets but not residences of the people who elected to stay on the island. A few members of the upper class remained & were able to keep their homes.
We fell in love with the intricate ironwork of the staircase, gorgeous vintage chandeliers in every room and chipping peeling wall paint in the home. Our pretty local model was styled in a beautiful tulle & beaded gown from designer Sarah Janks, a lovely vintage 1930’s sheer dress from Gossamer, and a cocktail number from BCBG Max Azria. The house had a moody feel on this rainy day in Havana and each room cast its own magical spell upon us. I staged the grand staircase with vintage brass candle sticks & a simple bouquet of white roses.”
“After the rain stopped for a moment, we regrouped for an afternoon of shooting in the streets of Old Havana to our awaiting 1950’s aqua blue convertible Chevrolet. A crowd of endless strolling people watching us shoot & local children playing in the streets, just made the backdrop even more charming. Oh Cuba, you have stolen a piece of my heart! We are so grateful that we got to visit you before all the inevitable changes & commercialism arrives.”
Photography: Jeannemarie Photography // Styling & Coordination: Designs by Hemingway // Gown: Sarah Janks // Vintage 1930s Sheer Dress: Gossamer // Cocktail Dress: BCBG Max Azria // Makeup Consultant: Heather Bell // Vintage Car: Chevrolet de luxe // Travel Service Arrangements: Fundacion Amistad // Venue: Josie Alonso House in Havana, Cuba.