At Adam Selman, a Wise Girlishness and Hair Bows Inspired by California Cults

This collection would be a hit with "Rookie" magazine's readership.
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Eliza Brooke
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This collection would be a hit with "Rookie" magazine's readership.
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The atmosphere preceding Adam Selman's show on Thursday night was what you would call distinctly "good vibes." It being the close of the first official day of New York Fashion Week, editors and buyers had a lightness in their step as they filed in. Photographer Cass Bird and her wife, the Wall Group director Ali Bird, hammed it up for front row pictures; Petra Collins milled around in a white leotard and jeans with star-shaped appliqués. Even the celebrities present were the low-key sort, those being Amy Sedaris and Lea DeLaria of "Orange Is the New Black." (Sky Ferreira slouched in close to showtime with freshly dyed blue hair.) Mostly, people were just happy to be out of the rain.

The mood, it turned out, was rather appropriate for the collection, an upbeat affair that began with a series of crisp white looks in a myriad of shapes: overalls, dresses with exposed crinolines, '90s-ish drawstring pants paired with twisted crop tops. The show gave itself over to color with the introduction of large-scale freehand flower prints. With the fabric bows in the models' hair — a hairstyle created by Jimmy Paul for Bumble & Bumble and inspired by California cult members — the effect was girlish in a way that would shoot straight to the heart of Rookie magazine's readership, which is to say, self-knowing and interested in getting to know its own sexuality. A floral dress featured slits up to the hip bone; one low-cut red jumpsuit was styled with a white T-shirt underneath; a denim dress with the same neckline, punctuated by a choker necklace, instead exposed a whole lot of cleavage. It's the sort of aesthetic espoused by Petra Collins, or the underwear brand "Me and You," which appears frequently on Collins's Instagram and sells white cotton briefs emblazoned with the word "Feminist" across the back (in pink).

Technically speaking, the best parts of the show were the looks featuring orange and pink floral embroidery, including a floor-length dress with whisper thin straps and sheer fabric peeking through the gaps in the flowers. The same embroidery also found its way onto the bottom of some flared jeans, which were late '90s as hell — but in a way that the girls of today would be all about.