Chromat Fall 2019

No fashion brand gets more inclusive than Chromat. However, sometimes that is not a good thing. Chromat has made a statement in the fashion industry because of their architectural, geometric, revealing collections that embraces sexual diversity, fetish, and the avant-garde with a fashion-forward sensibility. For the past several years, Chromat founder and creative director Beca McCharen-Tran has really sought to include models of all body types, sizes, and sexual distinctions in the brand’s runway shows. For the most part that projection has been successful; however, for the fall 2019 collection McCharen-Tran’s attempt at an all-inclusive runway show was a dramatic fail.

Where in the past Chromat’s penchant for architectural body wear really set itself apart from other brands of its ilk with its standard fare of geometrically inspired aesthetics, McCharen-Tran in the past few seasons has determined to expand the brand’s consumer to not only include curvy women and plus-size, but also trans women, and even women with disabilities. A noble trajectory, but not always successful on the runway, particularly when non-standard models present next to standard size models.

Inspired this season by tropical locales, this collection looked more like a swimwear collection or at the very least a spring/summer collection. Still, this collection does make sense if a consumer is looking to transition some of the garments in this collection from workout gear to a breezy cocktail party in the tropics. Fortunately, this is what the design team at Chromat intended. And in that respect this collection was credible.

Still, presenting this athleisure on models that are in demeanor and proportion far from runway friendly was not a good move for Chromat. Curvy, trans, and plus-size models can be a wonderful addition to runway shows, demonstrating that a variety of silhouettes can be glorious on curves. However, in this outing it almost seemed that Chromat injected larger models for effect instead of a broader inclusion. At times it seemed that the plus-size and curvy models were used to rouse the audience into frenzied cheers and catcalls instead of nods of inclusion.

To be honest, this collection just did not look that great on many of the diverse physiques. And as the paraplegic model walked the runway with much struggle, there was no doubt that Chromat had pushed the boundaries way too far. In a moment in fashion where inclusion and diversity are the order of the day, fashion brands must include diversity with taste and dignity.

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Still, there were some body wear that did work. However, it was mostly on standard-sized models in the show. Chromat, better luck next time!!—William S. Gooch

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