NEW YORK – Adam Selman presented his debut women's collection at the Algus Greenspon Gallery here on Thursday night during New York Fashion Week.
The inspiration: In his show notes, Selman, a Pratt design alumni whose CV includes creating tour costumes for the likes of the Scissor Sisters and Rihanna (with whom he collaborated on the singer's River Island collection), said his spring and summer 2014 collection was inspired by two things: a 1981 HBO special on supermodels titled "Beautiful Baby, Beautiful" and the '70s-era Cosmopolitan magazine covers shot by Francesco Scavullo.
The look: Grounded in a palette of black and white with the occasional navy blue or pale blush pink, the collection had a definite boudoir-with-an-edge element that could be seen in silk slip dresses, robes, camisoles and palazzo pants as well as a standout silk dress that riffed on the look of a hockey jersey (another athletics-inspired piece was a black and white silk baseball T-shirt). The intimates-as-outerwear vibe was heightened even further by the inclusion of a couple of bathing suits including a pair of white bikini bottoms edged in black.
But there were plenty of pieces for beyond-the bedroom (or beach) antics too – including a zip-front jumpsuit (in navy blue), a white twill trench coat with generous lapels, and a pair of navy blue twill jeans were festooned with chenille appliqué stars that looked for all the world like they'd just been beamed forward from 1974.
The scene: The postage stamp-sized gallery was so crammed with people craning their necks to see and holding their iPhones aloft to snap photos of the presentation (which, in a meta way was set up to look like the behind-the-scenes preparation for a photo shoot), you'd think Rihanna herself was in the house. Although, to the best of our knowledge she wasn't, it was impossible to look at Selman's inaugural collection and not immediately think about how they might look gracing the lithe form of the Bahamian-born singer.
The verdict: A rock 'n' flavored, slightly sporty collection of easy pieces for the flirty girl, and the perfect way for Selman to introduce himself. Now that he's got our attention, we can't wait to see what he does with it next.