Maria Cornejo is celebrating her brand’s 21 anniversary this year. As designers often do when faced with such a milestone, she checked out previous collections and brought back some of her favorites. Adherents of the brand know that Cornejo has used a range of styles that she often refers to in her collections—they may even know their names: Foil dress, Opposite dress, Koya coat, One Seam Legging, Bibi coat (known as daughter’s name). (Full disclosure, I worked at the Cornejo store on Bleecker Street a few years ago, so I’m one of those people who memorizes many of the style names.)
But Cornejo has a different one this season. Methods. “I think it’s really important to focus on the shape again, something that stays closer to the body and brings a younger spirit to it. I think it’s good to show some skin,” she said at her studio appointment. In the fall, Cornejo reviewed the archives to find “what seemed relevant again.” Her clothes appeared in iconic photo shoots of the late 20th century90 years and early events, many of which she brought back with minor tweaks. There were one-piece dresses, an asymmetrical neckline dress with a wrap panel that slipped over one arm like a vest. It was photographed by Mark Borthwick on 90 Chlöe Sevigny (she also took a series of commemorative photos for the new edition). Cornejo also brought back the Triangle Top, originally worn by Stella Tennant in another Borthwick photoshoot. “The original triangle was about the size,” Cornejo said, creating a very narrow gap between her two hands. Now it’s a dress. “It contained everything,” she said. The timeless Bibi coat returns in shearling with a more flattering waist.
The designer has long advocated the use of sustainable fabrics and craftsmanship, and some highlights this season include a collection of chenille-like pieces in a fabric called Eco Pet , made from recycled plastic. A vest with an asymmetrical neckline was tucked into a pencil skirt with an off-center zip for a youthful look. The same bubble shrug and pleated skirt brought back from back in the day 2000 in red tweed. A hyper-suede kaftan is basically two triangles (or is it a diamond folded in half?), and the result is a bit futuristic, like something David Bowie wore—”very from Yamamoto Kansai” 25s or ’21s, but it wasn’t intentional,” says the designer. Cornejo has always been interested in shapes and their The way the body is wrapped is intriguing, but this season, with the body itself the center of attention, the collection has an undeniable sex appeal. Blame the tailoring, or the bared girdle of a pair of fishnet stockings, which is one of Cornejo’s current obsessions. One (she also designed the lookbook).
collection, while for fall Cornejo brings back spring’s 2000 on jacquard coats and dresses “Eyelashes” prints. They’re a bit abstract and have a disco vibe, especially on the pink and black jacquard. The illustrated anniversary prints that debuted for spring 2000 feel as fresh today as they did then. Rounding out the collection are a pair of chunky square toe ankle boots with ribbon detailing around the perimeter. They are thoughtfully executed by Cornejo in the 21 century Good base for geometry. This is for 21 more years.