NYFW SS19: CHROMAT Pop Up
CHROMAT - SS19 Saturation Pop Up
The small studio space was decorated with swimwear. sweaters and t-shirts. A bartender made drinks for a group who watched the rerun of last night’s show on the TV screen. The runway consisted of the likes of opener Leyna Bloom, Geena Rocero, Carmen Carrera, Mama Cax and many more! Junie by Solange played softly in the background as guests laughed and talked while CHROMAT team members organized product.
I had the chance to speak with Kristi Siedow-Thompson, an intern with CHROMAT. She expressed to me how she always wanted to be in fashion and finally took that chance to do it in 2016 when she moved from Denver, Colorado to New York City to study at FIT.
As the we watched the show on the screen, Siedow-Thompson took the time to explain every look to me, speaking passionately about the SS19 collection. She expressed the challenges that came with the models being completely soaked, and the how exciting runway shows are.
I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with Becca McCharen-Tran, designer of CHROMAT. Our conversation was brief but very informative. McCharen-Tran’s energy was very warm and inviting and it felt as I was just grabbing coffee with one of my dear friends from home.
McCharen-Tran tells me, during the production of the show she didn’t feel any particular emotions, “I was too busy to feel” she says smiling, “I was just like whats next, what’s next, who needs this, who has shoes on.”
When I asked how she felt about doing runways she expressed that she loves all collaboration that is put together to make a show. “I love the fact you can just get in a room with all of these talent people it may be make up hair jewelry designer musicians, then you all kinda combine your specialities into making something unique.”
McCharen-Tran talks about the show, saying her favorite look was probably the finale with the photo of Dana Scuggs, but expressed how much she loved the duo saying, “They surprised me!” and “They’re so cute!”
Getting into the concept of Saturation, the name of CHROMAT’s SS19 Collection, McCharen-Tran explains how the whole collection was inspired by wet t-shirts. “We wanted to reimagine the whole hiding under a giant t-shirt when you’re going to a pool party because you’re too embarrassed to wear swim in public.” and that , “We wanted to put that moment of vulnerability and make it something to be proud of.”
The body positive brand has been known for celebrating diversity on it’s runway from always being inclusive and casting models of all different shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities and so forth. McCharen-Tran tells me that it wasn’t about fulfilling a need but it had always been her world.
“You know what I first start back in Virginia the models I choose were my friend and my friends just happened to be people of all different sizes races ethnicities heights you know. it’s just always i’m lucky enough to work in a creative community that is inherently diverse establish now that we are in New York like the artists and the people that inspire us they come from everywhere and so it reflects our community.”
With it just being the brands normality McCharen-Tran mentions how having a not fashion background, receiving a degree in Architecture Design from University of Virginia School of Architecture, helped her define her own rules her to not feel the need to prescribe to traditions.
“I want the audience to feel excited, I want them to feel seen, celebrated and feel apart of it.” McCharen-Tran speaks on how one’s designs can be a reflection of their communities. “It does make me question who their community is, who their surrounded by, what their lifestyle is. I think it reflects all of that. If you grow up in a white world surrounded by only white people if you grow up in some kind of segregated or excluded area kinda whites only space then that’s what it’s gonna look like.”
Before going our separate ways I was able to thank the designer for her resilience to stand firm in her beliefs. One can only hope the rest of fashion industry will start to take notes.
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