NEW YORK – Adam Selman presented his sophmore women's collection on the 22nd floor of a TriBeCa office tower here Thursday during New York Fashion Week, adding outerwear and layering pieces to his athletic-meets-the-street flavored eponymous label.
The inspiration: Selman, who has created costumes for a laundry list of big-name performers (most notably Rihanna, with whom he collaborated for her line, River Island) looked to current events for his second collection. "There was this hiker who was hiking in the French Alps about four months ago," Selman said backstage during the presentation, "and found a box [full of jewelry] sticking out of the snow that was from a plane that had crashed in the 1950s that had been flying from Bombay, India, to New York.
"So the collection is kind of hiking clothes meets India; the prints are based on the Indian sari and the splashes of the Holi dye festival but in a really stark, New York Stephen Sprouse way."
The look: Based in a palette of just four colors -- black, white, a vibrant blue and an eye-popping red – the collection included athletic-inspired drawstring trousers, miniskirts quilted like puffer coats, over-sized shirt dresses and splash-printed mountain-worthy parkas, fisherman's vests, reversible coats, sweatshirts and wide-leg overalls. While Selman said he was making a conscious effort to expand his offerings into outerwear and layering pieces, there was still plenty of body-conscious slinkwear in the mix, including ribbed catsuits, T-shirt bodysuits and a curve-hugging, floor-length matte jersey dress in a black-and-white seed print paired with over-the-elbow gloves.
Our only quibble – and this is a small one – is that the black-on-white splash-print pieces gave us a little bit of a cow-print vibe (maybe that's our Vermont childhood talking) – which is hardly a selling point outside the farmer's wife demographic.
The scene: Selman's spare, slightly raised catwalk ran along a wall full of windows so that the looks were presented against a natural-light-filled cityscape from 22 stories up – a backdrop that becomes all the more meaningful once you know the collection's inspiration). Models stepped to the runway accompanied by an Indian-flavored soundtrack and an occasional cloud of incense, creating an atmosphere in the otherwise empty office space that perfectly mirrored the vibe of the collection.
The verdict: There was a lot to like in Selman's sophomore collection – and a whole lot more that will be realistically wearable for customers not named Rihanna.