We were thrilled to launch a limited-edition Caribbean collection with extraordinary pulled-thread needle lace, handmade by Carmen Amparo Fiol de la Cruz, an Afro-Cuban seamstress-couturière who plied her trade for over 70 years. She was even seen as recently as in 2016, wearing one of her signature lace dresses while attending the Chanel fashion show in Havana—Cuba’s first international runway event since before the 1959 revolution.
Photo: On Cuba Magazine – Carmen Fiol in an interview with ‘On Cuba Magazine’ in May 2016
Initiated by peasant women in the 17thcentury to emulate the fine lace worn by aristocrats, the pulled thread technique involves separating the threads in a piece of cloth in order to achieve an openwork design. Combined with a skillfully arranged patchwork of other laces and pin-tucked cotton muslin, the pulled thread technique became Carmen Fiol's specialty at her home and studio in Vedado—which today is a stylish residential area outside Old Havana.
Photo: Monika Knutsson – Detail from Carmen Fiol’s dress design. House sign in Vedado.