adam selman painted the roses red for fall/winter 17

A decade-mixing collection with stops at the 60s civil rights movement, the 70s disco era, and 90s YSL.

by i-D Staff and Rory Satran
11 February 2017, 2:15am

In 1999, Yves Saint Laurent sent a curlicued Laetitia Casta down the runway dressed in a "bridal gown" of artfully arranged pink roses. Last night, Adam Selman reframed that concept for the modern woman with the 27th look of his fall/winter 17 collection, sparkling black pants paired with a massive bouquet of red roses. Both shows featured sets of rose bushes, and played with old fashion tropes (roses, gowns, veils, sparkle, transparency).

And like Yves, Adam cares deeply about crafting a vision of the strong woman. He cited Mariel and Margaux Hemingway's disco-era looks as inspirations, and it's easy to imagine his frequent muse and collaborator Rihanna in some of these pieces, especially the sheer top and dress in sage paillettes. The pink pantsuit had a bittersweet affect given the political context, and there was a lot of power in the strides of the more-diverse-than-average women in the show.

The starting point for the decade-mixing collection was a classic Bruce Davidson photographof three women in short veils. Bridesmaids at a wedding in Harlem in 1962, they have a quiet grace that is spiked with the political turmoil of the civil rights movement. If your head is spinning a bit from all the references, that's the point. Women today can and should incorporate these multitudes.

The 2016 CFDA Fashion Fund winner is intent on creating signatures for his brand, namely, denim. Important to Adam's own functional/fabulous 70s look, the American classics become more of a thing in each collection since his first in 2014. There's some gender play here, too. Adam told us, "For so long it symbolized masculinity, rigidity, and blue color stereotypes. It's fun -- and maybe even important -- to play with stereotypes so maybe that's why I always go running back to denim."

"Even when I take something as seriously as I can, it comes out playful," Adam told i-D a few years ago. That lighthearted sense of fun, often weirdly lacking in an industry that's all about escape, was in full effect: wacky color combinations, embroidered Converse, knee socks, macramé. All splashed with a fierce dose of red.


Text Rory Satran
Photography Maria Valentino

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