Maria Cornejo's press release for her Spring/Summer 2011 collection seemed complicated and even overwrought. Cornejo said she'd been "exploring the idea of cultural displacement" and the release mentioned the "push-pull of an ocular lense" and "an illusion of structure with plissed angles." I don't know what a "plissed angle" is or how clothes can reflect the "push-pull of the ocular lense," but I do know that when the actual clothes came down the runway, they were anything but complicated and overwrought. They were simple and graceful and classic Cornejo.
When I picture the girl who wears Zero + Maria Cornejo, she is someone I envy. She's international, probably in the art world, maybe a gallerist with galleries in Barcelona and London, or a sculptor who spends half the year on an island in Greece and the other half in New York. Her style is effortless but reflects her worldliness and creativity and appreciation for art. Maybe that's what Cornejo meant by exploring "cultural displacement." Her designs this spring seemed to draw inspiration from across the globe--from African-inspired prints to simple silhouettes with clean lines that recall an Asian aesthetic. There were silk jumpsuits and pants that tapered at the ankle, jackets and vests that hung just right. But draped dresses are what Maria Cornejo does best, and this season's collection was no exception. Some dresses had one shoulder, some were strapless, some were in prints (the print of magnified burlap stood out), but all of them were draped beautifully--soft points around the hips, gathered drapes down one thigh. So it was fitting that Cornejo ended her show with a beautiful cream dress described on the line sheet simply as "dress in Drape."