Chromat’s SS18 show Serenity, demonstrated the force of fashion when backed with an design focus of sustainability and ethos of female empowerment with its dynamic new collection. The show opened with a sense of transcendental peacefulness where projections of vast aerial shots explored arctic landscapes and ice rock formations. Siren-like sounds washed over the gallery as Suzi Analogue sung live and produced orchestral tunes, while visuals by Pussykrew depicted ancient, forgotten statues of goddesses underwater. Cue the fashion.
Swimwear with an edge hit the runway with the emergence of a one-piece-swimsuit-meets-bondage-harness-and-dramatic-g-string adorning a fiercely strutting model. This iconic entrance was followed by ten more pieces that spanned between minimal and extra, swimwear and activewear, featuring Chromat’s signature structural lines, shapes and cut-outs, as well as interspersed mesh and bold colours. As the runway erupted so did the projections with their crashing waves and forceful flows of lava. Just as unstoppable as the erupting energy on the runway, the motif of the earth reclaiming itself framed the fashion.
The collection subtly shifted to highly structural day and night looks that included denim sets, and a favourite: the Chromat does Gaultier and Britney x Justin, with architectural harnesses modelled by Jordyn Woods. The traditional ‘lingerie meets pop star’ aesthetic was dismantled as models of all different shapes and sizes seized the show. Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran has always sited diversity and inclusion as focal to Chromat’s design ethos, and this runway delivered exactly that. Natural hair bounced freely, divine middle-aged women walked defiantly, and all the models, no matter age, size and ethnicity exuded confidence as they walked, just as dynamically as the collection itself.
Eclectic ensembles with exaggerated shapes and non-conforming straps showed off Chromat’s knack to be bold, adventurous and high fashion, and at the same time somehow also accessible, commercial and casual. High glam nightwear with giant metallic crumpled sleeves bordering silky burnt-orange layered leotards were fed with projections of minerals, geodes and climate chaos; heralding the resilient, versatile and powerful nature of change and reclamation. These loud garments accompanied by sassy lyrics closed the show on an energetic high note, as the final model Maya Monès strut, twirled and posed, making you want to jump into a Chromat piece and join the uprising of the real and repressed. The total 32 piece collection whirled past and I thought, this is the show New York fashion week wanted and so sorely needed.