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New York Fashion Week: Fun clothes for bad girls at Adam Selman

Adam Selman finds AW15 inspiration in John Waters' 1974 film 'Female Trouble'

Even before the show started, it was clear from the chain-link fence and pieces of litter strewn on the runway that Adam Selman had a very specific inspiration for his fall and winter 2015 collection.

"I kind of started with Divine and Cookie Mueller in ‘Female Trouble,’ the [1974] John Waters film,” Selman told us. “In the very, very beginning, they're in the bathroom in high school spraying their hair and smoking cigarettes and I just kind of went with this girl with kind of a rotten disposition -- that can’t change, won’t change, doesn’t want to change. I went with that instead of the more glamorous type [of girl].”

The shrill ring of a school bell signaled the start of Selman's rotten-girl romp, a collection that felt part punk sexpot and part retro-rockabilly. There were paneled mini-dresses, jackets, short pleated skirts, trousers and trench coats in shades of bubblegum pink and dandelion yellow, fuzzy cardigans and sweater dresses and body-hugging T-shirts, skirts and four-pocket dresses with contrast stitching.

There was a bow motif throughout, including dresses, polo shirts and cardigans covered all over with tiny bows, each tied as neatly as a child's first shoelace as well as bow prints on blouses, wrap skirts and shirtdresses.

We usually don't have the bandwidth to call out a show's hair or makeup but at the show's finale, as Selman's schoolyard vamps lounged against the chain-link fence, we had a chance to study some of the towering teases, beehives and bouffants that not only added a good foot to each model's height but perfectly completed the aesthetic, thanks to the efforts of Jimmy Paul for Bumble & Bumble. All in all, it made being a bad girl look like an awfully good time.

--Orley, a men’s label known for its knits, added a women’s collection to the mix for fall and winter 2015, a collection filled with florals and zig-zagging geometrics. In the former category there were scarves and sweaters festooned with falling leaves and and jacquarded floral jackets and trousers. In the latter category there were intarsia knit chevron turtleneck sweaters, zig-zagging cable knits and various zigs and zags on cardigan sweaters, and Lurex skirts. 

--The N. Hollywood menswear show took place early Friday evening as the sun was setting and the mercury in Manhattan was dropping faster than Thelma and Louise at the closing credits. While that was bad for anyone who had to be outside in the frigid temperatures, it was good for the label’s designer Daisuke Obana, who drew inspiration for his fall and winter 2015 collection from the cold-weather activities of military mountain divisions of the 1940s and Peter Seibert, founder of Vail Ski Resort, in particular. Grounded in a palette of khaki and white, the collection had a snowflake/ice crystal pattern that appeared on a range of  pieces including chunky sweaters, car coats and sweaters -- a reminder that beauty can be found in even the most adverse conditions.

--Closing out the day was Los Angeles based August Getty who staged his sophomore women’s collection at the Lincoln Center tents, an assortment of eveningwear pieces that ranged from voluminous ball gowns to flirty mini-dresses, midriff-baring tops and cropped trousers. The collection was in an all-black color palette (but for a couple of pieces that had a black floral lace pattern over an opaque white fabric with the rigidness of raincoat material) and heavy on the leather. The standouts were the longer leather gowns cut to be body-hugging on top and flowing effortlessly on the bottom making the models look like futuristic femmes fatales that could have hit the catwalk straight out of “Blade Runner” or “The Matrix.”

For the latest from the New York Fashion Week sidelines, follow me @ARTschorn.

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