What do you get when a bag of Hot Cheetos, a few cans of Red Bull, and a swim noodle come together in perfect harmony? No, it's not a beach bag for a day trip to Fire Island. Nor is it at the top of a list of supplies for a Bushwick rave. Well, actually — you may be on to something. But that's the trio that stole the show at Chromat on Friday, when designer Becca McCharen-Tran presented her fall 2018 swim and athletic-wear collection. And for the first time in a long time, the audience was applauding a show that hit peak diversity — but was just plain fun to watch, too.
New York Fashion Week is off to a slow start, but the energy at the end of the Chromat runway was the second wind it (already) needed. As transgender, nonbinary, curvy, Black, Asian, White Hispanic, differently abled, short, tall — and everything in between — models posed for the camera pit, it was the fashion that held court. Because, season after season, Chromat leads the diversity charge. At this point, McCharen-Tran's reputation of mass representation is so integral to Chromat's DNA it would seem odd if the runway was anything but the reflection of real life.
But back to those road trip snacks. Though the role they play in Chromat's fall 2018 collection is still yet to be determined, they did, however, manage to command attention to some pretty useful details that otherwise would've gone unnoticed. Want to sip your energy drink on the go but your hands are full? There's a pocket for that. Want a place to store your Hot Cheetos without crushing them? There's a pocket for that, too. Because apart from the irregular silhouettes of most of the garments, Chromat's latest showing was an innovative and practical take on swim and sportswear.
It'll never feel right watching models in one- and two-pieces strut down a runway when it's 20 degrees outside, but at Chromat's fall 2018 show, a warmth was in the air. And it wasn't just a reminder that summer is on its way. It was a feeling that — when it comes to clothes that are made for real women and not one-sample-fits-all — felt pretty damn good.