15 February 2011

NYFW A/W ‘11 Report: Zero Maria Cornejo

It’s so satisfying to see Maria Cornejo go from strength to strength. For such a long time she has been the fashion editor’s best kept secret. Her NY store buzzes with industry insiders stocking up each season. When after the election the first lady became a convert to Cornejo’s deceptively simple modernism the word gradually leaked out.

Now her front rows are full of international store buyers and editors in chief all wearing some Cornejo piece and all making it very much their own. It’s a canny trick, and one that not many industry leaders seem to want to pull off, to make a woman look like she is wearing her own clothes and not a designer fantasy. It’s one of many things Maria Cornejo does brilliantly.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I have asked all shapes and sizes of stylish women what they are wearing only to find out it’s Zero Maria Cornejo. I know selfish is not stylish but there is so little that is precious and exclusive out there that I can’t help but feel a pang of loss, now that she is so much in demand.

This winter there is a boxy jacket in chestnut leather has must have written all over it. The soft cocoon coats in variations of camel or a pop of scarlet for the brave looked like modern classics. Her funnel hooded tailoring and shaggy sleeved cardigan coats picked up a prevailing trend in way that looks current but not slavishly fashionable. And Maria does a day to evening dress better than just about anyone. The draped viscose with elbow length sleeves is one devotees will be adding to their collection.

- Paula Reed in New York


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