We wrapped up 2014 by getting down in Brooklyn with our ChromatBABEs at a fun DIY space in Bushwick and then dancing the rest of the night away at Ladyfag's warehouse party Club SHADE. Before we head full speed into making 2015 even better than the last, we're taking a moment to look back at our most memorable moments of our best year yet.
THE YEAR OF CHROMAT TECH
2014 was the year we laced up our Sport Wedges and trekked into new, uncharted tech territory. We were able to explore exciting new facets of fashion and created two collections featuring wearable technology, evolving our garments from analog to bionic.
BIONIC BODIES | LED LIGHTS
The A/W 2014 Bionic Bodies collection delved into a love affair between a human and a robotic being. Interactive maps of the internet and websites like Tweetping, Reddit and global energy usage typographies inspired the material palette of wearable semiconductor light source technology paired with lush velvets and chromed metal plating.
Light-emitting Diode (LED) and fiberoptic lights were wired with accelerometers onto chromed steel and velvet cages to produce a soft, velvet glow.
Photos by Koury Angelo for Milk Studios
"[CHROMAT] is working with technology in unprecedented ways, and on the street, they were definitely the most talked about the day after they showed."
— DAZED Magazine
"Chromat has punched a hole in the fabric of space-time. Think Bladerunner meets Helmut Newton; a smattering of Victorianism and serious cybernetic embellishments. The conceptual headgear was out of this world."
BIONIC BODIES ON FILM
Bionic Bodies FW14 tells the story of a love affair between Rhyan Hamilton as a human and a robotic being played by Eve Liu.
Directed By Ellen Frances
BEHIND THE BIONIC BODIES RUNWAY
Tyler Kohlhoff took his VHS camera behind the scenes at the runway show to capture the chrome and LED showpieces on a turntable and remixed them to perfection. For more inspiration and tech from the Bionic Bodies collection, check out this interview our Head Designer Becca did with Vice.
FORMULA 15 | Misfit SHINE + 3D PRINTING
Formula 15 focused on empowering the body through technology. We overlaid the parallel ideologies of conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing Series and the process of tracking athletic movement through the use of wearable technology.
We collaborated with wearable technology company Misfit to design accessories that incorporate their first product, Shine— a sleep and activity-monitoring device that tracks the body’s movement. This device transforms the body into a machine able to produce and record data. The information gleaned from the body’s exercise is then synced to a digital application that charts the body’s progress throughout the day.
Chromat also explored the possibilities of 3D printing- producing bra cups, facemasks and dress pockets rendered through software and printed into hard wear.
The SS15 collection imagines a world where clothing will be downloaded online and garments will function as data machines to both observe and empower the reality of our bodies.
Photos by Christine Hahn
CHROMAT GOES TO ITALY!
In May, Chromat was invited to attend the Origin, Passion & Beliefs trade show in Vicenza, Italy- hosted by cool London-based site Not Just a Label. We got to meet so many cool independent fashion and accessories designers from all over the world, and then had the opportunity to travel Italy and soak up some sun on the piers of Venice. Can't wait to return this summer for more carbonara and squid ink pasta!
CELEBRATING BODY DIVERSITY
Photos by Christine Hahn
Denise Bidot opened our S/S 2015 Formula 15 show by trailblazing down the runway alongside fellow plus models, Katy Smye and Kailee O'Sullivan. Celebrating bodies beyond the straight size has been on our agenda since day one and we continue to push towards inclusivity and representing the diverse range of bodies and people who make up the amazing women who inspire us every day.
Chromat aims to make inclusive sizing the norm on the runway.
Photos by PAMU
Our garment are all available in custom sizing.
CHROMAT'S WEST COAST TOUR
Photo by Christine Hahn
Chromat escaped to the west coast this fall and hit Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and LA. We teamed up with Solestruck for a pop up shop in Portland after Becca melted the hearts of a thousand ChromatBABES by proposing to her girlfriend Christine Tran of Witches of Bushwick at architect Rem Koolhaas's Public Library in Seattle. Where there's good news, a ChromatPARTY is sure to follow-- the newly engaged couple then cruised along the coast to Los Angeles where they hosted YOWSAH with Kim Ahn.
Halloween meant the return of Creepy Chromat, our annual Instagram costume contest. The ChromatTEAM turned out our best Creepy Chromat looks and rode the ChromatPARTY train from Susanne Barch's Costume Ball at MOMA Ps1 all the way to Ladyfag's Club SHADE.
WHEN BEYONCE CALLS, WE ANSWER
Getting a call from Beyonce's stylists four hours before her VMA performance was definitely one of our most memorable moments this year. Beyonce is one of our Chromat dream babes for her incredible strength, visionary mind, and feminist agenda.
"McCharen’s statement is definitely on-brand with Beyonce’s vision of female empowerment. In fact, the reclamation of constrictive body architecture like corsets is in step with what our feminist foremothers have been doing for years." - MTV
CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAZE
Chromat got in the holiday spirit and teamed up with Tayler Smith and Zach Krall to bring you our HOLIDAZE campaign. The full still-life series can be viewed here.
THE CHROMED METROPOLIS DRESS
The Chromed Metropolis Dress was the magnum opus of the Bionic Bodies collection. It took over 500 individual metal pieces, two whole months, and one dedicated ChromatTEAM to take this dress from concept to reality.The dress was originally cut from individual pattern pieces of paper, draped directly on the mannequin. We then scanned each pattern piece, digitized it and transfered it to a CAD file. We then used that file to laser-cut each piece out of a large piece of zinc metal. Once cut, each piece was hand-sanded and buffed before the linking began. Each of the metal pieces was jump-linked on, one-by-one, using two pairs of pliers and one o-ring link. Over 500 links and 2 weeks later, the dress was finished just in time for the AW14 Runway Show.
We were ecstatic to see it dazzling on Rita Ora in her December feature spread with Cosmopolitan!