Zero + Maria Cornejo Fall 2008 (Photo from New York Magazine)
Maria Cornejo showed her keen understanding of garments’ construction partially achieved through a mastery of fabrics in her Fall 2008 collection. She divided the shows in five colour groups: “Red and Black and Check,” “Chalk and Grey,” “Black and Flourescents,” “Nomad Multi Colors” and, finally, “Midnight Evening.” Through her precise use of pleats, gatherings and folds—or to use her terminology “origami” techniques—the looks read as effortlessly chic, while the collection displayed a great ratio of black to vivid colours.
A particularly exciting moment was the satin fuchsia dress she sent down the runway at mid-show, which literally seemed to emanate light, as well as a more sportive look at the other end of the colour spectrum comprised of black jodhpurs and a simple black top. Also of notice were the horse hair necklaces which decorated many of the clothes (and were often dyed to match them). Reminiscent of actual hair and loose tresses, the necklaces added an interesting sexual punctum to the restrained sensuality of her work. Ultimately, what makes Cornejo’s work stand out—especially on this side of the Atlantic—is her ability to combine a level of simplicity (or perhaps clarity) with wearability and experimentation—a rare feat which few designers can be said to achieve.