09 February 2014

CHROMAT FW14: Donna Haraway Robot Blogging IRL

I dictate my own aesthetics and brainwaves by building my own mythology surrounding the things I love and care about. For the past few years or at least, for the past year, it's all about Monsters, and Lady Vengeance Looks specifically. But since the New Year I've been preoccupied by cyborgs and robots and the feminisms associated with them. I actually really dislike much of the academia Donna Haraway has put out there -- it's totally unapproachable and unlivable, removed from real people -- but so much of what she says about cyborgs and innocence and humanity rings true to me, too. So I spend a lot of time just thinking about it, and I'm obsessed with sci-fi and robots because of it. So when the robo babes came down the runway a few nights ago courtesy of Becca and her CHROMAT crew, I was completely floored. I've been going to fashion week for I think, thirteen seasons now? But this is the first show I yelled at, with so much joy and delight. It felt really fun.

 So much of fashion week is about being 2 cool 4 school, getting the best instagram, getting snapped the most. This show reminded me clothes can be promising, and fun, and new, and cool, and fuck everything else. 

I'm also super glad that I've made a conscious decision to only go to shows where I know I will see my friends -- peep my girl Gillian in the background of this picture, and William too (congrats on your new gig, dude) -- as well as to shows where I connect to the designers. While it's an absolute honor to get invited to shows every season, if I know I wouldn't ever wear a designer even if I could afford it (which I can't, ever, I mean, retail price????? hahahahaha) -- it's also a fantasy I'm disinterested in participating in. CHROMAT stuff is not inexpensive, but it's also a small brand and pretty much hand made by a bunch of rad (and mostly queer) women. With Chromat I know who works on the pieces, I know how long they take because I ask, I am allowed into the process. This is my favorite thing about small brands: they let you in. You are unquestionably the center of their universe. This isn't something you can say about larger brands who have to fill a quota for their investors in terms of new releases every season, regardless of how inspired they feel. 

I'm so happy to see Becca grow and evolve and get her stuff worn by our heroes like Beyonce etc. When you can connect to fashion brands and feel proud on their behalf, like they're family, it's really the most fun. And we all know how I feel about lingerie, and badass women. So A+ all around. 

This piece was such a showstopper -- I reached out to touch it on instinct when it jangled past me but I kept my hands to myself because I'm not an asshole. But really: XENA Warrior Princess Looks, right? I bet Beyonce already reserved several in her size. 

Big ups for the diversity in casting, too. There was no tokenism to be found -- and I noticed, and I appreciated it a lot. I'm noticing runways are getting better at it this season, but I'm also only going to shows and presentation where they haven't had horrible histories at doing that, so I am not one to gauge the situation accurately. 

There were so many YESSSS moments in this show -- I'm glad I brought Tayler along to properly document it. Look at this friggin outfit. I haven't documented my season faithfully to the internet and I'm not mad about it, because I want to pay attention to the clothes and the experience more than proving I am somewhere. But I think if I didn't get photos from this show for myself I'd have been bummed out. Just: picture these light up robot goddesses, marching in the complete darkness to a bunch of beautiful people, cheering them on. It was really beautiful and exciting to be part of. 

I mean. Look at this. Metropolis Goddess Looks. Cyborg feminism moments for us to remember and emulate. God bless. 

This collection makes me really excited for Lingerie Fashion Week in a few weeks, actually -- I'll keep you posted on those shenanigans, too. But now I have to do my homework before more shows. And probably brush my teeth. Ok, bye.


Diana said...

Feminist robot army vibes. I can dig it.

Cora (aka 'Treacle') said...

That mesh and velvet bodysuit!!!!

Christina Martinez said...

I feel you on the not taking pictures thing... why compromise your own experience just to give others an attenuated version of it? But I do love that you attend FW show and events that aren't typical blogger fare. Anything you're willing to share is much appreciated and inspiring.

P.S. you might like this piece I wrote on collecting and digital ownership for ArtPractical:

Katrina said...

I think I spy Jillian Mercado? Amazing. These are such inspiring shots.

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Ann LeMonnier said...

The corsets are beautiful!


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