Chromat shows are much more than just fashion—they are about comradery, community, and pure fun in bathing suits. As a photographer, I have been documenting their shows for over a decade now, and what sets their shows apart from any other is the level of energy, respect, and affection for each other.
This NYFW season, the models got primped and preened, and dressed at Tourmaline’s World Trade Center studio. This is the second time Becca McCharen-Tran has collaborated with trans activist Tourmaline. We piled up in vans and headed to Jacob Riis beach (the left side of the sands), which is a safe haven for the LGBTQIA+ community. This beach represents what Chromat stands for: inclusivity, fierceness, and a good ol’ time.
There was barely a rehearsal and Becca herself showed the models the runway route and afterward said, “It’s all about vibes. Have fun!” The SS22 resort collection was a beautiful sea of red on all body sizes and skin colors. After the show, we all ran into the beach and splashed around and celebrated with one another. I spoke to Becca McCharen-Tran about the show, Chromat’s casting process, and who she would love to dress.
Your new collection is all red. What does that signify?
Lifeguards, protection, vibrant cherries, red hot summers.
How has COVID-19 changed fashion and specifically to your brand?
It forced me to slow down, and I’m so grateful for that. It recentered the intention in everything we do. We’ve been working on the SS22 collection for over a year, and taking time to make sure the fits are perfect, and taking breaks to rest.
Your casting is so important in creating a mood for your shows. Tell me about this process.
When casting, we’re looking for confidence more than anything else. When a person feels comfortable in themselves, it shows.
What was it like working with trans activist artist Tourmaline?
Tourmaline is so optimistic, and working with her for the past 2 years has been like therapy. Every decision we make, it’s always led by questions like “what would bring you the most joy? What is exciting to you?” She centers pleasure and ease in everything she does.
Who would you love to dress?
Bjork, Beyonce, Missy Elliott.
Who would you decline to dress?
How has it affected Chromat to be based out of Miami?
Living in Miami made me realize that the climate crisis is happening now, it’s not a hypothetical future. It forced me to think critically about every step of our own production process and align everything to be more sustainable.
It’s also so amazing to be near water, and to swim in Chromat suits almost every day. What a gift!
What do you miss most about New York?
Did you get to check out any other fashion shows this season?
No, I purposefully didn’t make any other plans outside of producing the Chromat show. After being alone in lockdown for so long, large gatherings bring me a lot of anxiety. So I tried to center my own health and wellness by keeping things low-key in the evenings after fittings.
Photography: Hatnim Lee
Cover photo: West Dakota
Photo 2: West Dakota
Photo 3: Disssgrace
Photo 4: Jacolby Satterwhite
Photo 5: Jordyn (Jordy) Harper
Photo 6: River Gallo
Photo 7: Basit
Photo 8: Xoài Pham
Photo 9: Maya Finoh
Photo 11: Pia