Chilean-born, New York City-based designer Maria Cornejo is known for her sophisticated yet accessible designs. In 2006 she was awarded the prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion Design, and her minimalist constructions are beloved by the likes of Tilda Swinton, Cindy Sherman and First Lady Michelle Obama.
In last year’s Spring 2011 wrap-up, Judith Thurman from the New Yorker summed up Cornejo’s aesthetic thusly: “I think she really understands the anxiety of being a modern woman, and torn between your need to be an individual and all of the demands of your life… It’s easy, but it’s also very chic, it seems to me a very modern elegance.”
With looks for both men and women for Spring 2012, Maria Cornejo tapped into the feelings of an urban summer, using “fabrics that feel like the beach but toughened up somehow – just a bit edgier.”
Silhouettes remain sleek, yet impart that “modern elegance” with fluttering volumes in richly pigmented solids of yellow, scarlet, deep violet and cobalt blue, broken up by a mix of optical whites and unexpected leather. Prints are abstractions from photos she snapped at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, a museum of indigenous art.