Becca McCharen, founder of CHROMAT, remains one of the most innovative clothing designers out there, so we were over the moon to be invited to see her latest collection for Fashion Week. Entitled Lumina, it is, according to the website, "inspired by the color theory and light explorations of conceptual artists Robert Irwin and Dan Flavin combined with the biological functions of electroluminescence."
Electroluminescence, in the hands of McCharen, makes a helluvan opening statement.
This was followed by several other pieces, each stunning, if more understated and less dramatic than the opening salvo.
After the first few pieces, the lights were turned up, and the next models presented outfits that mere mortals might wear. There was some fabulous activewear,
and lingerie under a modern version of a robe.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, there was lingerie in lip-smacking colors...
...combined with classical Chromat geometry.
If you're going to an event where neither fabulous activewear nor fabulous underwear is appropriate, and you don't want to literally outshine your fellow guests, Chromat makes dresses as well.
This dress makes cheeky reference to the cages that are more or less synonymous with the Chromat name.
Artist Juliana Huxtable, who appeared in the January issue of Vogue, walked this body con dress. Notice the battery pack on her arm.
Here's another battery-driven dress.
This was the last piece to come down the runway. From its inception Chromat has designed for and celebrated plus sized women.
Not all of the show during MADE Fashion Week takes place on the runway. Although the weather outside was frigid, everything inside Milk Studio was hot. Designer Becca McCharen, with her signature pink hair in braids, wore one of her bustiers while her fiancee Christine wore a black Chromat tee-shirt emblazoned with a white corset.
As if these two gents hadn't already dressed to the nines, they both sported pastel-colored eye and skin liner. They achieved the desired effect.
The Lexus Lounge, designed by Design Disrupted, is the VIP hideaway before the start of the show, which featured Veuve Clicquot, macarons, coconut bars, stuffed mushrooms and other delicious tidbits by Lexus Culinary Master Chef Carlo Mirachi of Roberta's, in a high tech setting.
Needless to say, this Glamazon looked amazing. Many guests wore their own harnesses in keeping with the runway looks.
Valerie met these two young ladies who work for the cosmetic company MAC. Fatima Thomas and the M-A-C PRO Team were responsible for the models' makeup.
It is always a treat to run into Chromat staffer, Coco Layne, who is one of the young women who can really rock grey hair. Loved her light beige PVC crop top with her her corset peeping through.
NYC-based photographer Tayler Smith wore the long sleeve, zip-front version of the PVC top, over a long caged skirt and black patent leather platform boots.
These two young ladies were rocking the all-black look. Notice the neck piece and bustier on the lady on the left.
Rapper Joe Galaxy came over to schmooze after the show. It was unanimous. We all loved it.
Senior Designer Alyse Schriefer and the rest of the Chromat team make the magic happen. We posed for a shot just before the show started. John Pizzolato and Jessica Allen handled front of house production while International Playground was responsible for public relations.
Jean loved John Pizzolato's boyfriend Rosswell -- and his quilted jodphurs and vintage boots. The gent on the left worked a black tee shirt under his jacket, for a hip, relaxed look.
Backstage, a photographer snapped Valerie's picture. His tee-shirt is a hoot.
The instantly recognizable vintage-lover Lynn Yeager was front and center for the show.
In the Lexus Lounge (otherwise known as the VIP Lounge) we spotted this woman wearing a take-no-prisoners outfit. Even slightly out of focus, she and the outfit are both knockouts.
It's such a great look, we had to show you the other side.
This great lady sat next to us during the show.
One of the many benefits of being invited backstage. How's this for an amazing look from the new collection?
Another backstage benefit? Being photographed in 3-D. Here, Jean gets the treatment. It takes about two minutes for the photographer to do a 360 degree sweep across the body. And not just any photographer, either. It turned out to be Natalia, whom we'd met at SOFA several years ago, showing her jewelry at the Aaron Faber Gallery's booth. Natalia photographed both of us - and all the show's models. We got a peek at the results, but can't wait to see the finished product.
And we can't wait to see what Chromat does next time!