Back in October Maria Cornejo returned to her native Chile for the first time in more than a decade. She was invited by El Mercurio, the country's oldest paper, to stage a fashion show in Santiago. It proved an inspirational trip. "While I was there, I kept on thinking about what would've happened if I'd taken a year off and traveled around America, and the sort of clothes I would've worn." It was that instinct that she tapped into to design her compelling new collection.

Recently Cornejo celebrated her 15th anniversary with a capsule offering of limited-edition dresses handpicked from her archives by loyal clients such as Cindy Sherman, Tilda Swinton, Miranda July, and Karen O. The Zero + Maria Cornejo demographic is artsy and intelligent, and tends to be trend averse. Cornejo’s Fall clothes retained all of those traits, but the designer wasn't shy about embracing a certain youthful naïveté. Memories of a childhood spent in school uniforms inspired black pinafore dresses and the crisp white button-downs underneath them, while nostalgia for the gap year Cornejo never had influenced the casual cut of pieces like sweatshirts and slouchy elastic-hem pants. Cornejo's trick was to make such things believable for her sophisticated urban customer. The poncho that opened the show came in baby alpaca, and the one that closed it was in a graphic black lace. In between, there were many great pieces to which Cornejo's fans—famous and otherwise—will respond. A bright flash of yellow made a silk crepe sack dress super-memorable. Even better: a T-shirt and track pants in a black Lurex stripe. In a parallel universe, they're pajamas. In Cornejo's, they’re exactly what her girl wants to wear on a special night out.