A Tender + Intimate Holiday
Looking back on this year, a lot didn't go according to plan.
We paused production on our SS20 and AW20 collections and pivoted to making masks and face filters. We collaborated with Pussykrew on a CGI universe and a film with Tourmaline that celebrated trans athletes that are leading sport into a new era.
Hee Eun Chung in the Base Buckle Crop and Linen Jumper Pant Sample, Christian in the Geena Monokini Sample and the Slayrizz Chaps shot by Tamara Chapman, styled by Chejolie Collins, makeup by Starr Shaver, photo asst Oji Haynes.
Above all, this year has shown us the importance and urgency of community. WE REALLY NEED EACH OTHER. If we aren’t lifting each other up and utilizing our creativity to envision new worlds, what’s the point?
That's why this holiday we’re partnering with one of our favorite collaborators and organizations: Scope of Work (SOW).
SOW is a talent development agency for young BIPOC creatives that establishes equity in the creative industry. SOW provides young POC creatives with access to pre-professional development resources, real world work experience, and holistic mentor relationships in order to realize a diverse, impactful creative sector.
We are excited to launch our Holidaze Archive Sample Sale with one of a kind pieces and 10 years of runway experiments up to 90% off. From now until Dec 5, we’ll donate 20% of all proceeds to Scope of Work so they can continue to empower the next generation of BIPOC fashion designers, artists and creatives.
Christian Gryphon in the Venus T Dress Sample
Read on to learn more about photographer and SOW member Tamara Chapman's creative process and the story behind their tender, intimate portraits of friends and collaborators wearing pieces from the Chromat Archive Sale.
What was your creative direction for your shoot?
Tamara Chapman: I really wanted to showcase the pieces in a very organic and natural way. Recently, I’ve been drawn to incorporating movement into my work so I knew that this would be the place for me to comfortably experiment with that. I’m a dancer of fifteen years so I want to work on intertwining my interests, it’s a long term goal of mine. This was my first time being able to produce an open-ended project with no restrictions, so I wanted to stick to the intimacy, tenderness, and playfulness that I normally emote through the photographs I make. I also aimed to elevate these swimwear pieces into a more high fashion type of look - many thanks to Chejolie, the stylist on the project.
Hop Nguyen in the Contour Surf Suit
How can fashion and photography redefine the possibilities of gender expression?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this question, just because underneath clothes we are the people that we are. I think that self-expression allows us to show other people who we are in depth. I am non-binary, so from personal experience my sense of fashion has definitely altered the way that I view myself and choose to present myself. People should be able to wear whatever they want and not have to be perceived in the process, it’s really that simple.
As for the medium of photography, I feel that this is one of the most flexible and freeform ways that one can express themselves. Stories are told through photographs and it’s a rewarding feeling to be able to incorporate personal feelings and experiences into your own work. It’s promising.
Who are the people you chose to photograph, and why are they important to you?
For my models, these are all people who are special to me. I wanted to select people that I haven't worked with as much in the past since this is something very new to me. I am non-binary, and I've never really worked with other non-binary artists. I selected Kareena and Hee Eun for this reason, but also because these are two peoples presences that I truly value. I feel a connection with them that's different from the rest.
Christian and I have a lot of big plans for the future. We met pretty recently but I feel like we would've come together regardless at some point because of our mutual love for dance, movement, and good music. She's my absolute favorite person just in general, but also to photograph. I feel confident in my craft when I work with her and my drive has elevated to another level because of her.
Hop is the sweetest boy. He's family. I always know that if I ever need anyone or anything, he's always just a short walk away. He always shows up for me. I love him and I love photographing him. After the shoot, he gave me the biggest hug and told me how proud of me he was. That was the most fulfilling moment of the entire day.
Sokhna and Sam are both two people I've never worked with before. I genuinely don't know much about either of them, I think they're both beautiful. I actually met Sokhna for the first time during the shoot. I'm just really drawn to how sweet and stunning she is. I've been spending more time with Sam recently since she's about to move back to California. She and Hop are really close but I actually met Sam a few months before I met him. Sam and I's first-ever conversation was about us doing a shoot together and it's finally happening, a little over a year later.
Hee Eun Chung in the Tie Tier Dress Sample
Why did you choose the location and what was it like on set?
I chose to shoot at Fort Tilden because on a regular basis it’s not usually accessible both financially and transportation wise. Upon being provided with the resources to create this project and have total control in that sense, I knew this is where I wanted to make this happen. Having the wide open field and the beach at my fingertips was fantastic.
The energy on set was a bit stressful in the beginning in terms of getting settled in/into the groove of things. Shortly in I could see that everyone was enjoying themselves. I made it my priority to consistently communicate and check on each person to make sure they were aware of how important as an individual they are to me not just for this project but within our relationship in general. By the end of the shoot it felt like I had been working with a little family.
What draws you to photography as a creative mode of expression?
I grew up being exposed to a lot of photographs on a regular basis because of my family. 90% of these photographs were made before I was born. A few years ago after my mom passed, I started shooting film as a way to cope with my loss since I then realized that I only had one photo in my possession of us together. At the same time though I don’t want to be perceived and I don’t enjoy perceiving myself, so photographing the people around me is very fulfilling and healing to me for this reason.
Christian in the Buckle Crop Sample
Tell me about your creative team - your stylist, photo assistant, makeup artist, why did you choose to work with them and what was the inspiration behind the styling, hair and makeup?
I selected Chejolie (stylist) because I knew from the jump that I could fully trust her to help pull together these looks. She's done some styling for shoots before but she's never been compensated for her time. I'm for the girls so if I'm getting paid, then everybody is getting paid. I wanted to give her an opportunity to show my peers what she can do but also ensure that she knows that she and her time are valued. Also her personal style in itself is immaculate. Can’t wait to work with her again.
I've known Oji (photo assistant and creative direction assistant) for pretty much as long as I've been shooting film but we've grown closer since the pandemic has started and we've spent more time shooting together, and photographing each other. He never left my side at any point during the shoot. We have similar goals that we hope to achieve and we’re also both invested in the works of the same artists (eg. Deana Lawson, Micaiah Carter, Adrienne Raquel, Kennedi Carter, etc.) It's been nice to connect with someone over Black photographers and have the space to speak openly about photography in general. What I love most about Oji though is that we are each other's teachers. He's definitely one of my biggest supporters and one of my best friends.
I was very excited to invite Starr (makeup artist) on this project because she understands and works with makeup on a level that is admirable. She pays great attention to skin tones, skin texture, sensitivity, etc. Starr is a visual artist in many forms, and this is definitely one of her most special mediums. She is also my partner of two years, so I’ve had the honor of seeing all of the incredible makeup looks she’s put together that no one else gets to see. I’m so proud of her and I’m proud of every look she did for this shoot. None of these looks would’ve been complete without her special touches. I’m grateful to be able to share this opportunity with her. She’s my biggest supporter, my best friend, and the greatest partner I could’ve ever asked for.
The inspiration behind the styling, hair and makeup, was to present an editorial twist where it may not be expected. The movement within posing my models, dewey makeup looks, and designer brands accompanying the Chromat pieces - all carefully curated to pull together a collection of looks that complement one another.
Hop Nguyen in the Contour Surf Suit
What is your experience working with Scope of Work, and why are they important within our creative industry?
Scope of Work is my family. Geneva and Eda have genuinely changed my life. I’m currently freelancing with my photography part-time, and it’s all thanks to them both. I actually got this wonderful opportunity because of them. Being in Scope of Work for the past year has given me the opportunity to grow closer to many other artists who share similar interests as mine. It’s nice to have a safe space to share my work and get to know myself a little more in that sense since most of my time is consumed by my studies as a journalism student.
Geneva and Eda have dedicated their time, energy, and hearts into providing representation for underrepresented BIPOC artists. They’ve also become one of my most reliable support systems. It means a lot to know that they’re always there for anything I could ever need. It’s extremely special. I’m looking forward to joining in again next year.
What does giving back/paying it forward mean to you?
To me it’s all about putting out the energy and treatment that you’d want to receive in return. I’m one of the most selfless people I know for sure, and in assembling this team I wanted to give everyone a mutual opportunity to get some type of exposure. I also really wanted to provide a positive experience for everyone. I was successful with that and I’m proud of it.
What is your favorite Chromat piece and why?
Honestly I’d probably have to say the assless Slayrizz chaps. The colors, the style… it’s everything. It was the staple piece for me throughout the entire shoot.
Shop the Archive Sale
Creative Director and Photographer: Tamara Chapman
Assistant Photographer: Oji Haynes
Stylist: Chejolie Collins
Makeup Artist: Starr Shaver
Models: Hop Nguyen, Sokhna Samb, Samantha Khaw, Kareena Diamante, Hee Eun Chung, Christian Gryphon