Free Association With: Maria Cornejo

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13:  Designer Maria Cornejo attends the Zero + Maria Cornejo Fall 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Milk Studios on February 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
Maria Cornejo. Photo: Brian Killian/2012 Brian Killian

It’s time for another installment of free association with fashion folk, and next up is Maria Cornejo of Zero + Maria Cornejo. The Chilean-born designer recently became an American citizen, and the search for identity was key in conceptualizing her collection. “It’s trying to figure out what constitutes my identity, and I realized it was part of my past, present, and future,” Cornejo said. The collection began with stark black-and-white abstracted prints taken from a still of a Cecil B. DeMille film, and moved into oversized shearling coats, bamboo knitwear, and stretch leather pants and skirts in graphite and forest green. Fluid silks in cobalt blue, chartreuse, and lavender made appearances alongside dresses and jackets constructed in scuba material. So what comes to mind for Maria when she hears the word genius?

Construction: “Scuba.”

Directional: “Individual.”

Luxury: “Handmade.”

Feminine: “Strong.”

Signature: “Identity.”

Genius: “One side of madness.”