Sunday, September 20, 2009

Zero + Maria Cornejo Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Maria Cornejo, Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear; photo by Diane Bondareff, AP photo

Maria Cornejo’s Spring 2010 Collection looks like an urban design structure or a permanent forest—not a piece of clothing that follows any rules or fashion trends. Her pieces can be worn for a lifetime.

Judith Puckett-Rinella is Senior Photo Editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Walking back towards the Times after the show, Puckett-Rinella told me: “Maria’s clothing is modernity without the ridiculousness.” She pays attention to real women, creating clothing in which all women will feel as beautiful as they are in actuality.
Her clothing gives in to the natural form of the body—not attempting to manipulate fabrics against gravity or include high-strung pleats or folds that stretch an unwilling material.
Cornejo’s collection included 41+ looks, separated thematically: Black and White Noise, Wood and Brown Leather, Grass and Green Glide, Water and Ink Wave Jacquard.

The harsh contrast of black against white was reduced by the fluidity of Cornejo’s designs. She incorporated natural fabrics—linen and leather, and used wooden accessories to emphasize a natural, organic look. Nothing looked forced; the fabric wanted to be there.
Cornejo also showcased her new swimwear, making the simplest bandeau tops and twisted-straps effortlessly chic. I was particularly impressed with Cornejo’s wide-range of pieces. She had everything from wood neck cuffs, leather Tookie bags, jumpsuits, waistcoats in stretch uni cotton, linen jackets, crop knee pants, dresses, shawl jackets, washed polyester trousers…

…silk dresses, sleeveless knits, cowl-neck shirts, leather leggings, wrist cuffs, jersey t-shirts, stretch cotton shorts, shoes…

The prints in Cornejo’s collection were sensational images—personal photographs screened onto silk fabric. The image sources are listed in the program notes: the weathered deck of an island beach house, the turbulent wake of a Bosporus ferry boat under a vivid blue sky; spikes of grass or the black static of white noise crawling across airy fabrics.

I cannot explain the natural beauty of Cornejo’s collection. Check out some of my favorite looks on

Slide 31: Kala dress in Drape
Slide 32: Kala Top in silk charmeuse and ochy skirt in drape
Slide 34: ID Goa Dress in Nova Twill
Slide 41: Long Cade dress in Silk waterprint

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