Six Questions of Separation – Becca McCharen of Chromat

[slideshow_deploy id=’24003′]

Established in 2010 by NYFW-based designer Becca McCharen, who has a degree in architecture rather than fashion, McCharen regards her line Chromat as a development of these studies with each of McCharen’s collections exploring and expanding her interest in “scaffolding, city maps, wearable exoskeletons and the intricacies of undergarments”. Her signature lines are strappy swimwear, lingerie and signature cages featuring braces and other architectural references which have rapidly gained admirers such as Beyonce, Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Jessica Chastain.

Glass chats to McCharen  about her SS15 collection to learn what drives her to create her innovative and stylish garments.

Becca McCharen

 Becca McCharen SS15 Collection

What inspired your latest SS15 collection?
The Chromat Spring/Summer 2015 “Formula 15” Collection was inspired by 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.

Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings are the result of a set of drawing instructions directly carried out onto a determined wall. Those instructions are brief and relatively simple – “draw two circles, connect them with one straight line” – while their results may vary in complexity and spatial extent. LeWitt’s instructions, or formulas, are the vehicles of those ideas.

While the dashes, arced lines and hard angles of LeWitt’s Wall Drawing Series motivated Chromat’s strict geometric aesthetic, the conceptual side of this processed-based artwork also directly relates to the athletic practice of following a pre-determined workout plan. In this rule-based aerobic process, the body becomes the wall in which to record movements and marks, it is the work of art.

Chromat has partnered with wearable technology company Misfit Wearables to design accessories that incorporate the Shine – an activity-monitoring device that tracks the body’s movement. This tool transforms the body into a machine able to produce and record data. The information gleaned from the body’s exercise is then synched to a digital application that charts the body’s progress.

Becca McCharen

 Becca McCharen SS15 Collection

Wearable devices are not the only new technology Chromat is integrating this season: Chromat is also experimenting with 3D printing to produce the bra cups, pockets and facemasks included in the show. Utilizing new additive manufacturing techniques has allowed Chromat to create shapes and volumes that would be impossible to achieve using traditional materials and construction methods.

Chromat’s Formula 15 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.

In five words or less, describe your design aesthetic.
Strong, Powerful, Conceptual, Architectural

How did you get your start in fashion?
I studied architecture and worked for several years in architecture and urban planning offices. Fashion was a side project I did after work. Then in 2010 I quit my job, moved to NYC and have been doing Chromat full-time ever since!

Becca McCharen

 Becca McCharen SS15 Collection

Where do you go for inspiration?
I love conceptual art – like Sol Lewitt, our inspiration for the SS15 collection- materials, joints, architectural theory.

Who is your favourite designer working in fashion today?
Rem Koolhaas

Do you have any advice for young people wanting to break into the industry?
I appreciate designers that come from non-fashion backgrounds. It gives them a larger reference point, and new sources of inspiration to draw from, vs specifically fashion history. Advice: be ready to do every single job related to running a fashion label. That includes shipping orders, patternmaking, uploading photos, logo design, etc. When you’re starting out, you have to be good at everything.

Becca McCharen

 Becca McCharen SS15 Collection

by Hatnim Lee

About The Author

Glass Online photographer

Related Posts

One Response