adam selman spring/summer 17: denim for day, denim for night

The CFDA Fashion Fund finalist on the importance of creating signatures and building a brand for the future.

by VICE Staff
09 September 2016, 9:05pm

"I want people to know that I love designing, that I'm working hard, and I want to be able to continue to do this," said Adam Selman backstage at last night's show. "It's a passion, I'm obsessed." Obsessed with making fun, flirty pieces like those in this disco-inflected collection. Obsessed with women, like the idiosyncratic group in his #frow squad: from Amy Sedaris to Tinashe to Inez Van Lamsweerde. And obsessed with the art of the detail, like the precise permanent pleats in cotton pieces, and the refined use of denim for North Carolina.

That dark, almost silky denim though: it appeared as a biker jacket, a bustier, a formal(ish) ball skirt, a pinafore dress, a bolero. Selman himself is a devoted fan of the Texas Tuxedo, and that commitment to the classic American fabric is one of his brand's signatures. "Denim on the red carpet, denim for day, denim for night," said Selman.

Defining his signatures is part of Adam's project right now, partly as a result of his year as a CFDA Fashion Fund finalist. "As opposed to an exact direct reference, I was really thinking about the pieces I was making, and the future of my brand," considered Adam. Beyond the ever-present denim, we also revisit pajama dressing and louche Halston-esque slipdresses, throwbacks to his very first, boudoir-heavy collection for spring/summer 14. The show was styled with classic white Converse, another Selman stamp, and many of the pieces were made to be machine washed. (What could be more American than that?)

Yet despite the wearability and focus on function, Adam's starting point for the collection had an esoteric artistic bent. The late Pittsburgh artist Aaronel DeRoy Gruber stormed the boy's club of midcentury sculpture with her large-scale works, including the giant steel sculptures that she learned welding to make. Her plexi-glass pieces in delicate colors lent inspiration for the shades of peach, petal, and layered transparencies throughout the collection. Typical of Adam to be inspired by such a strong, unique woman. He's made a career out of costuming them (one Bajan superstar in particular), and designing for them.

Related: Christmas Shopping with Adam Selman 


Text Rory Satran
Photography Mitchell Sams

New York Fashion Week
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adam selman
spring/summer 17
aaronel deroy gruber