Not long after Style.com's Resort preview with Maria Cornejo this morning, we overheard an editor from another fashion pub saying that she'd be wearing a Maria dress to the CFDA Awards. "It's simple and easy," she reported—the holy grail for fashion insiders, who've made a religion of dressing down for dressy occasions, saving the gowns for clueless Hollywood types.
Cornejo's latest collection continues in the same casually luxe vein. Or maybe we should call it dorky chic; the designer herself did. "I like that it's kind of dorky," she said, describing a black dévoré popover top tucked into a pair of black shorts made from a feathery synthetic fringe. If all this sounds like you have to be part of the in crowd to understand and wear Cornejo's clothes, that isn't the case. The brand is growing and she's expanding her range, adding jacquard suiting and leather separates to her familiar photo-print dresses (the best of which was an oversize polka dot that was actually a metal mesh fence at San Francisco's de Young Museum). Cornejo also tossed in an elegant ivory jersey gown tucked and draped from a central spot at the midriff. In it, no one, not even a Hollywood celebrity, could look clueless.