I love it when a show feels less like looking and more like shopping. I may be imaginary shopping while it’s still coming forth down the runway, but when I catch myself making countless mental notes for next season’s wardrobe, I know I’m witnessing something special. I initially became obsessed with Zero + Maria Cornejo last year; the Spring 2013 collection’s palette consisted of my favorite color, cobalt blue, and delivered via skirts and dresses that billowed and nipped in all the right places. For Fall, they followed up with an array of prints that inspired me to build my whole wardrobe around them.
It looks like another spree is in order come Spring 2014. Architectural and easy, sculpted yet breezy: this is Maria Cornejo’s unique take on earthiness, and it does feel earthy (except for those high-sheen metallic rompers and jumpsuits – adorable!), but not in a hippie-dippy way. Not even close. Even though they’re might be plenty of linen, this is evolved sophistication all the way. Pencil skirts with slits so strategically high they create flowing panels as soon as you take a step and functional shirts revolutionized with the addition of capes and trains prove the designer is on a roll. Yet again, her prints – from the awesomely optic to the hyper-modern ethnic – are phenomenally abstract and vibrant. Her way with draping is easy, not contrived. Sure, those kimono-style dresses tend to feel frumpy if you’re not six-feet and 100 lbs, but when it works they’re sensational. Luckily, there are plenty of incredibly flattering looks for the real woman (and yes, that would be me).