Maria Cornejo's self-imposed task this season was to make harder, slightly protective fabrics and tailoring fly for summer. "I wanted something a bit urban, a bit androgynous," she said backstage after the show. That thinking yielded a bumper crop of variations on the idea of the suit. The first was a putty-hued loose sleeveless jacket that fastened easy-peasy with a single strap; it came with matching slouchy-slim pants. Slightly more formal was a cocoon jacket in a chic dark navy with high-waist shorts and a crisp white silk blouse. But it's still the kind of polished look you could swan about in comfortably, and be the woman who's figured things out.
Cornejo also proposed leather. It seemed right in a white kimono-sleeved stretch skirtsuit or little shrug-on jacket, but perhaps a touch heavy in double-layered black and navy.
Like many women designers, Cornejo is about solutions as much as style. One of her greatest is the silk dress, which she sells like D batteries the day before a hurricane. This time around, her great flashing prints were taken from photographs she snapped at the Musée du Quai Branly, which shows indigenous art in Paris—the exotic abstracted. Also interesting was Cornejo's (literally) loose interpretation of the narrow, midi silhouette that's popular all over.
This time around, her menswear played it mostly classic. There was a monklike quality to a collarless leather jacket worn over a white tunic and pants, but otherwise her two-button jackets and not-too-skinny tapered pants were the kind of thing every dude could pull off.