Zero + Maria Cornejo
September 12, 2010 New York
The first look out —an all-navy ensemble of a sharply pleated silk top and slim trousers—set a tone of amped-up elegance and suggested a new lightness in Cornejo's codes. The pointy architectural drapes at the hips of her finely tapered pants and jumpsuits fell more softly, and the asymmetric piecing on color-blocked dresses had an intuitive grace. The heritage most apparent here was the designer's own. The cut-out lapel on a drapey black blazer is just the sort of smart detail that gets Cornejo's cult a-shopping, as do the prints on her ever-flattering dresses. This season there was a cool, abstracted close-up of burlap and a languid, painterly marble motif.
The designer recently added Los Angeles to her roster, opening a 2,000-square-foot store on Melrose Place. Was the new locale an influence? "The only thing is I wanted was more beachy dresses," she said. Oceanside is surely the perfect spot for the pop bright tribal print that made an appearance on a small grouping of looks. Then again, the growing population of Cornejo country could take it anywhere.