February 07, 2005
Maria Cornejo's compact fall collection, shown as an in-store installation, was organized into groups by color: ink blue, chocolate brown, black, eucalyptus, antique silver. Like the palette, the fabrics were soft: velvets, cashmeres, jersey, even faux fur, all worked into eminently wearable pieces meant to be mixed and matched to create interesting lines. Long sweaters were paired with leggings and balloon or handkerchief-hemmed skirts, and grounded with Frye boots, while coats were worn open and belted under the breast, creating an Empire silhouette that also showed up in velvet evening dresses.
Always thinking about volume and form, Cornejo is uniquely equipped to shine in a season centered on these concerns, and this collection was one of her strongest. It was largely inspired by the work of 72-year-old American sculptor Lee Bontecou, whose work was recently exhibited at MoMA. "It gave me hope," Cornejo said of the sculptor's show. "I hope I can still be making things when I'm that age." As do we.