HAVANA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Each year, Cuban designers get a chance to let their imaginations soar, creating outlandish looks, some inspired by art, for the annual Havana Art and Fashion show.
Free from the usual constraints of utilitarian clothing, designers create exotic, dramatic or playful costumes for the annual showcase.
This year's event, held Thursday through Sunday at the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA), featured a wildly eclectic parade of theatrical creations made of materials ranging from metal to seashells and cellophane.
"These are extreme outfits, they are not for going out on the street," said art critic Jorge Rivas.
"They recreate works of art or an artist's entire body of work. These artisans and artists might choose pieces so the public can admire a work of art in a different way, not just see it on canvas or as a sculpture," Rivas said.
"It's a way to take art to the wardrobe," he added.
However, inspiration for the designs can run from pollution to politics, with one fashion house showing a collection of industrial-style clothing accessorized with hardhats, canvas work gloves and soldering goggles. The collection was called "Country under construction."
The show also presented works by guest foreign designer Natalie Wildgoose, who visited Cuba recently for British Culture Week, and left her 18-piece collection titled "Children in the garden," which evokes childhood.
One highlight was the presentation of a collection shown in May at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., which featured an installation of Cuban-inspired outfits made of natural fibers and non-conventional materials by designer Celia Ledon.
To mark the 15th anniversary of Art and Fashion, which was founded in 2003 by Cuban designer Rafael Mendez, the museum is also hosting a related photo exhibition called "Goodbye to the rules," featuring images of past editions of the fashion show.