Style & Fashion

New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week reviews: Adam Selman

The Daily Beast

February 10, 2017

The wind was indeed biting Thursday afternoon, the snow, now all fallen, whipping off rooftops creating sporadic micro-blizzards.

This dramatic state of meteorological affairs meant not that fashionistas were striding down Washington Street to the Skylight Clarkson space, giving it maximum Zhivago, but rather—and more predictably—alighting from cabs or limousines and darting inside. For every wet-seeping snowshoe, there were three deliciously impractical, vertiginous heels. Blizzards do not mean practical dressing, my dears: not at New York Fashion Week.

Once inside, there was another lesson. “Welcome to New York. There is no personal space here. Group closer together please,” bellowed a security guard.

Adam Selman’s front row included the politically timely pins that the CFDA have produced: “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood,” and his show was a stirring demonstration of female strength. The music was pumping and Western-style, and the clothes featured the recurrent motif of the rose.

If we were out on the prairie, it was one filled with drama and dancing, as one would expect for a designer most famous for dressing the likes of Rihanna, Britney Spears, Scissor Sisters, and Lady Gaga.

Sometimes the rose turned up as the multiple print on a shirt, sometimes it was appliquéd to denim. Sometimes it was the basis for a slinky dress.

Roses big and small appeared on a biker jacket, a denim trench, a cowgirl shirt, a zip jumpsuit, a sheer shirt, and overalls. Most dramatically, they were worn for real in the hair, with dramatic black veils.

This was a beautiful collection, even when roses were not in play. Selman also showed languorous silk pajama pants and more fitted jackets.

There were long, checked shirts perfect for lounging (with nifty boxer shirts underneath) and metallic jeans, slinky party dresses, slightly butcher short dresses, and precisely tailored pleated mini-dresses for long nights out on the town, or to be cleverly worn over denim.

A long Lurex trench provided drama, while a merlot and navy striped bandana shirt was accessorized with a rose embroidered skirt. For Selman, everything is to be mixed, and then—to applause-worthy effect—not necessarily matched.

The handsome, moustachioed Selman appeared bashfully at the end, in dark overalls, cap and Planned Parenthood badge, to roars and keen applause—and sure this is Fashion Week and such things are staple. But the appreciation was genuine and keenly felt: This collection was assured and gorgeously realized.

On a poignant note, the show was dedicated “in loving memory” to the young designer Scott Stevenson, who died recently (his funeral was on Saturday). Hopefully Stevenson was looking down smiling from somewhere filled with rock and roses.