EcoSalon at NYFW: Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo fuses a punk vibe with tailored appeal for Fall/Winter 2012.

Zero+Maria Cornejo’s Fall/Winter 2012 runway show at Milk Studios drew a star-studded crowd including the likes of jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia and model and actress Shalom Harlow. The Chilean-born designer’s collection harbored shapes, textures, and hues to inspire cozy hibernatory thoughts, yet blasts of citrusy neon, brilliant cobalts, and vivid lavender and turquoise silks revealed its nonchalant fierce edge. Consciously choosing not to use fur, Cornejo integrated llama, shearlings, merino wools, and alpaca to fill the void. The addition of bamboos and silks gave the collection a lovely and exceptionally feminine flow.

Now an American citizen, Maria Cornejo built this collection upon nostalgic thoughts of the past and reimaginings of the meaning of identity. Cornejo says, “I always find myself pulling from my past to create the future.”

Inspirations rooted in everyday occurrences bring further life to Cornejo’s curious digital prints. Ranging from an iPhone photo of a graphic still, a silent movie pixelated onto silk, to Cornejo’s son’s reflection in a Hydra swimming pool evolved into an evil eye print to protect and bring good energy. The creative process behind Zero+Maria Cornejo is profoundly distinct.

In contrast to Cornejo’s digital prints and modern lines, she concurrently infused the collection with natural, grounded pieces: hand knits from a women’s cooperative in Bolivia, superfine Suri alpaca coats, and bamboo knit basics to remind us of the core necessities and their connection to the earth.

Cornejo’s juxtaposition of modern and classic, innovative and traditional, as well as comfort and chic breathes fresh air into the upcoming autumn season for womenswear. Via this collection, Zero+Maria Cornejo has awakened the feminine within, while maintaining comfort and ease rooted in a peaceful balance between opposing aesthetics.

Photographs by Monica Feudi/Courtesy of Zero + Maria Cornejo

Kestrel Jenkins

Kestrel Lee Jenkins currently resides in New York City where she writes a weekly column covering the sustainable fashion world.