Zero + Maria Cornejo
February 13, 2011 New York
One new idea revolved around texture: Silk dresses in a clever blow-up print of fur fit snugly with genuinely tactile materials like pressed bouclé and a yarn-loop knit. (Another funny print was based on a smart friend's bookshelf that Cornejo said made her feel ignorant: "We're all feeling for culture, but we've all got ADHD.")
Cornejo rarely makes overt thematic references, but there was a sort of English countryside feel here, evident in all those rich grays and browns—see a shearling cape, an admiral's coat, and the woolly knits. It added warm familiarity to the designer's ultramodern codes.
The juxtaposition of hard and soft is a longtime area of interest, and here Cornejo applied that to dresses, giving her usual fluttery silks stiff wool skirts that hung loosely around the knees. The counterpoint was a sexy dress with a deep V-neck and crisscross back, an intended play for a younger customer—though the designer's impossibly cool take on the tuxedo with panels of jet beading was agelessly sultry.
There was also straight-up luxury on display, thanks in part to the fabrics: loads of vegetable-dyed leathers, llama wool, the aforementioned shearlings, gold-brushed tweeds. Best of all, Cornejo's materials are increasingly eco-friendly. Then again, you could argue that all great clothes reduce your carbon footprint. Explained Cornejo: "If you make things people want to wear every day, they're not going to throw them away."