Zero + Maria Cornejo Spring/Summer 2015

Peaceful Naivety and Lyrical Classicism

Zero + Maria Cornejo Spring/Summer 2015

In her designer statement, Cornejo writes that “it feels relevant to evoke a certain peaceful naivety.” This sense of naivety translates into a collection that features both monochromatic austerity and flowing frills, lace, and touches of whimsy.

The collection has elements that are architectural and angular; however, they do not come across as severe but rather clean and polished. They generate confidence without being off- putting. The geometric (and wonderfully named) neo-scuba jacket, for example, managed to convey the same femininity as the audaciously fetching off-the-shoulder jumpsuit.

In Cornejo’s design of the many black-and-white pieces, the lyrical lines that brought the fields of solid monochrome together transformed the potentially heavy-handed black-and-white into something lighter and reminiscent of my favorite Aubrey Beardsley illustrations. This expertly executed contrast is emblematic of the overall lyrical negotiation of formality and play that runs throughout the collection. The lighter-colored print pieces, have an airy brightness about them, but because the print patterns are based on architectural tiles, the overarching sense of contrast is continued.

There is also a nod to the antiquity in the cut of the tunics, which felt both classical and evocative of just a hint of the “leaf-fringed legend” and even the “wild ecstasy” that Keats found on his Grecian urn. Indeed, such hints run throughout this very graceful and beautifully constructed collection.

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