Chromat autumn/winter 2017 collection catwalk show for NYFWNew York Fashion Week AW17
The Gallery runway space of Skylight at Clarkson Square was filled beyond capacity, generating enough heat to make summer wear appropriate. Luckily, the design team known as Chromat (partnered with outwear company Klymit) was set to present their autumn/winter 2017 swimwear collection at any moment. Simply titled Buoyancy the collection was inspired by flotation devices, and surviving in rough open water.
The show opened with a wash of aqua blue light, debuting a female rapper and two vogue-ing backup dancers. After the initial crowd pump up, the outfits that followed did the same. Sculptural, weather-proof outerwear, were pumped and inflated to full gravity-defying effect.
Each seam creating an air-sac reservoir, allowing the garment to expand and take shape. Encircling some models or adorning their heads as a fascinator, these couture buoys accented each model, highlighting the simpler geometry of the bathing suit beneath.
The styling of each model was particularly interesting. Hair was kept strung out and wet, to give the appearance of being freshly emerged from the water. Besides the simple washes of blue eyeshadow, makeup was dewy. Beyond the obvious flotation device accessories, chain jewelry was held in the mouths of some model, giving an illusion of a chained lower lip piercing, perhaps an inspiration of a freshly hooked fish. Noted transgender model Carmen Carrera was a featured fixture of the show.
The geometric and muted simplicity of the swimwear, coupled with new age stretch fabrics was markedly offset by the colossal flotation garments in the collection. The earthy colour palette offered a sense of utility to the bikinis, bathing suits and occasional trench coats featured in the line. The clever ability of the Chromat design team to blend daily swimwear, with walking, wearable (and potentially life-saving) art was a truly fathomable feat.
Photos: Dominique Pettway