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New York

Adam Selman

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

New York

Adam Selman

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

New York

BY Katharine K. Zarrella

February 10, 2017

• Adam Selman is a denim guy. He’s known to sport a full-on Canadian tuxedo or jean overalls (like he did backstage after his Fall 2017 show) on a daily basis. So it’s no wonder that denim is becoming an increasingly important part of his line.

• “Obviously I’m a big denim lover,” said Selman post show. “But this time, it was really about focusing. It was my first time doing actual washing on the denim. I was looking at this book called American Denim that’s on my desk at all times, and it’s all about folk art in the ’70s, but on denim. It’s the best thing ever.”

• This tome influenced Selman to play with crafty Americana—think Western shirts and the like—as well as embroidery. 

• He was particularly moved by a Bruce Davidson photograph—taken in 1962, during the Civil Rights Era—of three women in Harlem wearing mourning hats with huge white roses and veils. Thus, he was inspired to make his collection a sartorial bouquet, of sorts. 

• Fall 2017 was dubbed “Say It With Flowers,” a phrase that came printed on a number of t-shirts. There are so many things we can say with flowers, no? They can be used to celebrate, to apologize, to express love, or to mourn, as evidenced by Davidson’s photograph.

• There was a joyful tone to this outing—as is so often the case with Selman’s playful, camp-leaning collections—but this influence, and the way he used it, certainly made me think. 

• Vibrant red roses were stitched on a denim trench, denim trousers, a denim biker jacket, denim skirts, denim dresses—you name it. The initial inspiration was reinterpreted by milliner Gigi Burris, who created a series of veiled headpieces for the show. 

• On an entirely different note, Selman, last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up, placed a big focus on branding this season, because, as he told it, “Someone’s trying to run a business. Turns out it’s hard!”

• Well, he makes it look easy—fun, even—and the branded red Adam Selman patches on the back of his denim duds seemed a seamless (but not too seamless) accent to his looks. 

• This was a well-rounded offering that still had hints of the vintage, pin-up kitsch that has become part of Selman’s identity. For instance, mini dresses—sometimes of the sparkly variety—came paired with extra-high knee socks; sunglasses, a continuation of Selman’s collaboration with Le Specs, were as catty as ever; dramatic, caftan-style shirt dresses—sometimes paired with shorts—would have looked right at home poolside in old Hollywood; and exaggerated belts were used to create silhouettes befitting an hourglass vixen.

• For his last look, though, Selman quite literally said it with flowers, sending out a model covered in an actual rose-centric garden, greenery and all. 

• At the end of the day, this collection was energizing and uplifting. But I had to wonder whether it was difficult for Selman to create happy clothes with all the chaos unfolding around us. 

• “It was difficult to get inspiration, and I just sort of picked it up as it came,” he admitted. “But all we can do is support each other, make beautiful things, create, and keep moving forward. And something will come out of it, something good. We have to remember that.”


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