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chromat is changing the future of fashion

Fashion
photos by atisha paulson

backstage w/ designer becca mccharen.

On Friday night, MADE Fashion Week showcased a runway far different from anything going on uptown: The Chromat show at Milk Studios featured models of all races, sizes, and gender identities strutting in the fiercest and most futuristic lingerie imaginable. Designer Becca McCharen uses 3D-printing techology to create architectural harnesses, bras, and garments that complement and accentuate all bodies, making for fashion that's as democratic as it is empowering.

McCharen turns her philosophy into a product that stays true to her values by casting diverse models for her runway instead of just using them in campagins or as inspiration. For the up-and-coming designer, technology is the key to a more diverse and representative fashion world—not just by helping to make clothing for all genders and sizes, but also by increasing the accessibility and attainability of high fashion.

Becca McCharen's designs have already made a major impact in the fashion world, even appearing on the VMA stage worn by Beyoncé's backup dancers. As evidenced by last night's show, her groundbreaking work continues to help her pave the way for the future of fashion. We spoke to her backstage at the Chromat show about 3D printing, the Chromat woman, and the importance of self-love.

Why do you think it’s important to have diverse models on the runway?

"I feel like casting for runway is a really great way to tell a story of who the Chromat woman is. Obviously the Chromat woman is so many people—it’s strong, powerful women in every different way. You don’t have to be skinny, white, and blonde to be powerful and amazing. That’s something that we really hold true. It’s beyond diverse—all the different varieties of plus-size, body size, gender—everything needs to be celebrated and we’re just like that celebration of strong, powerful women in every form."

How can the Chromat woman wear these pieces outside of the bedroom and into the world?

"A lot of our bras are so interesting, and bigger, longline styles, so a lot of people layer them over dresses. It’s really a layering piece, an accessory like a belt. I’m looking forward to the party where everyone’s wearing Chromat."

Do you think that the concept of strong women goes hand-in-hand with lingerie? Lingerie seems like a very empowering thing.

"Totally. It’s like a secret strength. When you know it's underneath, only you know what’s going on. It definitely gives you that confidence."

How do you think that the ideas of technology and strong, diverse women interact?

"I think technology is definitely a way for us to enhance and augment our bodies. With 3D printing, I really feel like it is the MP3 of fashion—like how MP3’s changed music where you can just hack anything and it can be yours, I feel like with 3D printing in the future, all those files for all those clothes will be online and you’ll be able to hack the latest Givenchy collection, download it, apply it to your body, scan and print it out. I really feel like technology is a way to get us to a more democratic place. Everyone has the power to hack."

Does technology make it easier to produce things?

"It’s ironic because now 3D printing is like, we can print things but we still have to hand-stitch. No matter what technology does, we’re never going to lose the handcraft. We’re never going to lose people completely. It’s never going to be all automated. Someone still has to be pushing the buttons of the machines. I just think it’s new tools and not a way to replace humans."

Do you see 3D tech getting more popular with fashion?

"Yeah, I think so. I think the biggest challenge of 3D printing now is flexibility, producing soft supple fabrics that move. But once we get to that level I’m really excited for the next step."

How do you strike a balance between creating wearable tech and wearable art?

"I think most times we’re not thinking about wearability when we start our concept and then we sort of boil it down to that level of the body. We take the high concept and then apply it."

Do you have any Valentine’s Day tips?

"Can I just quote RuPaul? 'If you can’t love yourself how the hell are you going to love someone else?' It’s all about you and finding what makes you feel happy and what makes you feel strong."

Any tips on finding the strong woman inside of you?

"Find something you love doing and do it a lot."

photos by atisha paulson
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

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Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design"

Prada Group has announced that Prada, as well as all of its brands, will now be fur-free. According to a press release from the Humane Society, Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Shoe will ban the use of fur beginning with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection (aka the Fashion Week coming up next). The list of fashion designers banning fur only continues to grow, with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Coach, Armani, Versace, Gucci, and more having stopped using the material in seasons past.

"The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy—reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States—is an extension of that engagement," Miuccia Prada told the Human Society. "Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."

Following London Fashion Week designers forgoing the use of fur in September and the first-ever Vegan Fashion Week taking place in February, it's easy to imagine an entirely fur-free fashion future. It's especially easy, I presume, for the brands to consider a fur-free future, given that entire cities and states are taking a stance. New York is following in the footsteps of Los Angeles banning fur, with a bill proposed this March that would ban sales across New York State.

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Photo by Johnny Dufort

"Club leisure" is the new athleisure

Alexander Wang is recognizing clubbing as the workout that it truly is with his latest Adidas collaboration. In this fifth installment, he "changes gears," per a press release from the brand, taking the iconic sports brand to the dance floor.

For the new campaign, the collection comes to life in iconic choreographer Tanisha Scott's dance studio and stars dancers Noemi Janumala, Dakota Moore, Avi McClish, and Olivia Burgess. The dancers show just how far these clothes can go when you want to bust a move or stretch, but TBH, I'll leave these poses to the pros and just use my clothes for flexing on the 'gram.

The collection—which features six apparel items, three shoes, and six accessories—features, per a press release, "Wang's knack for pre-styling." Standouts from the mostly black-and-white items include a silver sneaker that was *made* for moonwalking, an airy windbreaker that has just the right dash of bright blue with the scattered Adidas trefoil design, and a towel hoodie that you won't feel bad sweating in.

Ahead of the May 25 collection drop online and in stores, peep the gorgeous campaign images below.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Joggers, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Towel Hoodie, $350, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Sock Leggings, $60, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Adilette Slides, $90, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Futureshell Shoes in Platinum Metallic, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Core White, $280, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Shorts in Core White, $120, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Bum Bag, $50, available staring May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Duffle Bag, $70, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

NYLON uses affiliate links and may earn a commission if you purchase something through those links, but every product chosen is selected independently.


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