It's not surprising that Maria Cornejo returns to the theme of identity in her collection. Her personal history crisscrosses the globe, and even as the brand grows, there remains something quite intimate about it. Her designs are tied to her own wardrobe, and even her prints are usually based on quick snapshots on her iPhone, like abstracted postcards from her life. Having recently gotten her American citizenship, Cornejo found herself pondering her journey once more.
This idea of plumbing her past to push into the future isn't so different to what Cornejo does each season, refining the codes she's created while offering her faithful fan club something new to love. Here, for instance, the fluttery bright silk of her signature dresses evolved into blouses tucked into narrow, longish skirts. Another nice leap: splitting it into a matching top and skirt, which made for a highly appealing casual take on evening. The slimmed version of the cocoon coat, which seemed to wrap around the body sans fasteners, is also one to put on your list.
Happily, Cornejo reports that business is good. Her pre-fall sales were up by 35 percent, and she's noticed that special pieces are outpacing staples—thus the uptick in evening looks today. The wrapped-up look for Fall wasn't what
you'd call opulent, but she did approach the L-word, luxury, however gingerly. "It doesn't have to mean a branded bag," she said. "Luxury can be quirky and individual." Which brings things back around to the importance of identity. If you consider the story behind those beautiful blanketlike knits (the pixelated motif is a picture Cornejo took at home while watching an old movie, and they're hand-knit by a women's cooperative in Bolivia), a sense of ostentation becomes something else.
The show closed on a high note with a bonded "scuba" wool jacket that garnered comments from editors as they filed out—a strong candidate for inclusion in the Cornejo canon.