Designing Fashion for Empowered Women: Becca McCharen & Chromat

Becca McCharen is a U.Va. graduate and NYC-based fashion designer who has worked with numerous celebrities, including Beyonce and Madonna. On Saturday, April 18th, she hosted a talk and workshop about her label, Chromat, for the Tom Tom Founders Festival.

Becca McCharen grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. Now, she’s a powerful and innovative fashion designer living in New York City, creating clothing she calls “structural experiments for the human body.” She draws heavily from her architectural background when designing, with her collections echoing scaffolding and exoskeletons. Her unique style has drawn significant attention, with celebrities such as Beyonce and Madonna wearing them in performances, and Forbes labeling her one of their “30 Under 30: Art & Style” for “People Who are Reinventing the World in 2014.” McCharen says that her designs are made for strong and powerful women.

McCharen spoke at the Tom Tom Founders Festival’s Founders Summit on Friday, April 17th. The next day, McCharen held a talk and workshop at Old Metropolitan Hall, giving the audience a further glimpse into her work and allowing them to try making their own Chromat headpieces.

Becca McCharen speaks at Old Metropolitan Hall, next to some of her designs.
Becca McCharen speaks at Old Metropolitan Hall, next to some of her designs.
Some more of McCharen's designs, including her well-known "cage bras."
Some more of McCharen’s designs, including her well-known “cage bras.”
The crowd at Old Metropolitan Hall.
The crowd at Old Metropolitan Hall.
Examples of Chromat's collection were laid out as inspiration for the workshop.
Examples of Chromat’s collection were laid out as inspiration for the workshop.
McCharen answers questions from the audience.
McCharen answers questions from the audience.
The crowd works on their own Chromat-inspired headpieces, using black construction paper, popsicle sticks, and glue.
The crowd works on their own Chromat-inspired headpieces, using black construction paper, popsicle sticks, and glue.
A young designer works on her own creation.
A young designer works on her own creation.
Some in the crowd tried to emulate Chromat's famous scaffolding-inspired style.
Some in the crowd tried to emulate Chromat’s famous scaffolding-inspired style.
A finished headpiece.
A finished headpiece.
An audience member shows off her finished headpiece.
An audience member shows off her finished headpiece.

 

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