Designer Becca McCharen’s aesthetic (informed by her undergraduate background in architecture), is structural and unforgiving, delivering an undeniable presence of sensuality and control. The shape and overall look of her label Chromat is consistent, incessantly testing the boundaries of the female form within the confines of scaffolding that encase the body, and reconsiders a woman’s figure in all of the right places.
It is McCharen’s reassessment of femininity in her latest S/S 2012 collection that turns the saccharine sensibility of what is stereotypically known as “feminine” on its head, wrapping us up in dark, monochromatic tones for the summer and donning our faces with caged masks that dare one to fuck with us. Perhaps carrying on the torch of Alexander McQueen’s aesthetic of fierce femininity, McCharen’s firm and calculated exoskeletons wrap the body in a manner that is both alluring and guarded. It is this evolved sense of design that offers a glimmer of hope in a fashion world where a woman’s voice and point of view is commonly muted.
McCharen has recently enlisted the film direction of Hunter Pharis Johnson to animate her S/S 2012 collection, with the story centering on two women enjoying a sweet and sticky escape from an industrial wasteland to the sea. Titled Dark Cross, visuals of Chromat’s designs pulsate to a soundtrack by Mutwawa as flashes of unbridled sexuality between the two models and disregard of the viewer flexes freedom in constraint. Undoubtedly a label that dances to the beat of its own drum, Chromat’s female form will be one to keep your eyes on.