BECCA McCHAREN: The architecture school I graduated from didn't admit women until the 70s. What if that had been reversed? What would the field of architecture look like if it had been men just starting to receive their architecture licenses in the last several years? In music and fashion, there are a huge amount of female consumers, but when you get to the top of the pyramid, it's all men. It's disturbing to me that men define standards of beauty and decide what women wear.
Good thing that we’ll have women making us dance at your afterparty at Le Bain!
I feel that we will only see equality in music, fashion, and other fields when there are more women at the top, hiring other women. We can't ask men to do it for us. We have to gain the power ourselves by creating our own companies and labels and agencies and making transformative work.
The original inspiration behind Chromat's work in scaffolding from the body comes from two of my professors at the University of Virginia: Lucia Phinney and Robin Dripps. They are focused on investigation and experimentation with adaptable, operable facades, the intersection between built work and the natural environment and even wearable architecture. Robin and Lucia have also inspired me to look to new technology to create clothing that responds to both the body and environment.
Chromat SS16: Momentum Runway
Chromat has worked with the most 'powerful, strong, independent' pop stars (Madonna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj). Is one of your goals to empower women - to make women feel strong and in control?
Definitely! Empowering women through clothing that makes them feel like the strongest woman in the room is our main goal at Chromat. It's been an incredible experience to work with women like Madonna, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj - fearless women who aren't afraid to stand out.
Chromat is definitely sexy. How do you connect sex and power? What those two words put together mean to you?
At Chromat, we don't subscribe to traditional notions of beauty or sexiness. We don't aim for sexiness in our clothing. We DO, however, focus on highlighting the different joints and connections within body. When women feel empowered and choose to celebrate their body, that is sexy.
Header photo: Becca McCharen by Christine Hahn.