Maria Cornejo makes some of the most deeply personal clothing on the New York runways, which makes her show one of the most exciting to watch. After all, she herself is the very image of the worldly, culturally savvy woman for whom she designs, and her prints are visual diaries created using photographs from her travels.
For spring 2014 she takes her muse on a global journey with a low-key collection that vaguely called to mind such disparate influences as Japanese kimono, Beduin robes, the desert landscape and the architecture of Paris and New York. Such is the magic of Cornejo, the ability to conjure sand and sky and city in a look, without heavy-handed literal references. Using rough-hewn materials like metallic-coated linen to create relaxed organic shapes, the tunics and away-from-the-body dresses felt both timeless and modern.
The season's greatest accomplishment, however, may have been creating a lush minimalist vocabulary without referencing the '90s — a trope that's been overused on other runways.