>> “I am always energized by the inspiring individuals around me, and I realized that the greatest luxury is to have freedom to express one’s own point of view,” said Maria Cornejo. For her Fall 2011 Zero + Maria Cornejo collection, displayed in a stark white studio in Chelsea (complete with a drum-heavy jungle beat mixed by Scott Mou), the designer exemplified her unique point of view through a number of twist and turns. In addition to her signature modern architectural pieces — this time in the form of simple sharp jackets, subtle drape dresses, culottes, and a re-worked China-red cocoon cut coat from her earlier archives — the designer pushed the envelope a bit further, introducing pressed boucle hoods, leather shirts, geometric effect skirts, and metallic jackets. Hand-knitted alpaca “pods,” fur and hair prints, along with a graphic book print dress — inspired by a friend’s house — added a softer, playful feel to her vision.
But Cornejo’s collection wasn’t all about the looks: the designer used eco-friendly techniques and textiles whenever possible. Leather was colored with vegetable dye, alpaca yarn was left in its natural state, and there was even a fabric made out of recycled cassette tape. Standouts from Cornejo’s accessories collection, made in collaboration with Eileen Shields, included a pair of copper boots, along with horsetail necklaces and a bold straw-embellished cuff designed by Saltalamacchia.