Photography: Katie Thompson
Walking into Milk Studios last night felt like stepping into Gaspar Noé’s 2009 drama, Enter The Void. Architectural lights lined the runway entrances, casting an expectation for deep exploration of color and luminescence from Chromat designer Becca McCharen. Light and space artists Robert Irwin and Dan Flavin inspired the NY brand’s fall ’16 collection, which manifested into colorful, illuminated garments that created their own architectural identity with light trails streaming effortlessly throughout the space.
Color was Chromat’s risk this season. In the past, they’ve offered a graceful mixture of clarity and dominance, using powerful, flexible silhouettes, paired with PVC or black-and-white minimalist lines. Lumina, however, transcends all this, reaching the inner light through technological innovation. The focus on accessible design, paired with adaptive and customizable garments introduced a new era of form. Using Biomimicry, Chromat sportswear collaborated with Intel Innovation and StretchSense to create garments that use illumination to respond to the wearer’s sensory systems—a progressive initiative that echoed the work of VFiles winner Neurocouture.
The gentle touch of mesh used on Chromat’s swimwear was inspired by Robert Irwin’s exhibition, “Excursus.” This mesh maze of shadow and dim light was said to have been “ethereal, and in a good way, somehow purgatorial, as if you might find your way to a clear divine light with time and patience.” As we turn a curve into a higher dimension of technology, Lumina seems to show a mirror to the state of our physical and tech divide, advising through example that immersion is inevitable. Projecting the like-mind labyrinth energy of “Excursus,” the collection edges toward empowering a celestial future where fashion and technology are empathically integrated.