Discussing her pre-fall collection, Maria Cornejo said, "I'm figuring out what we'd do within a more feminine look." Girly doesn't necessarily come naturally to the designer, yet if the exercise proved challenging for her, the results were as effortless as the clothes she's long been known for. No corsets or hourglasses here, but there was a new emphasis on the waist. Everything from a V-neck dress in ocean blue to a jacquard popover top and matching elastic-waist pants (she called it her "luxe tracksuit") was cinched with wide belts. Evening is another category she's exploring; she showed a few looks in a dramatic black and sheer stripe, but the standout was an ivory dress gathered at the front below a deep V—brides looking for a lovely if unconventional off-the-rack wedding dress could do no better.

Prints are always part of the designer's story, and she came up with a trio of powerful motifs here. The one guaranteed to get the most attention she's calling her "ode to Bob." Cornejo said the colorful image of Bob Marley was pixelated to evoke camouflage. Once a tomboy…