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Offsite: Cornejo Subdued, Still Summery

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Late this morning Maria Cornejo presented her spring collection to a packed, colorful and incredibly beautifully dressed crowd at the maze-like, sun-kissed Hosfelt Gallery on the far west side. Friend-of-Cornejo Simon Doonan was in attendance (wearing Gucci-monogrammed faux-Vans slip-ons and clutching a customized Goyard messenger emblazoned with his initials), as was Sartorialist Scott Schulman and turbaned-jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia. Cornejo—known for her intricate custom prints and playful sense of color—showed a slightly subdued but beautiful collection of natural canvas, navy, black, and white silks and jacquards in her signature diaphanous silhouettes.

Asymmetrical, one-sleeved shift dresses were bilious yet still managed to appear structured. Exaggerated shoulders added architecture to cocktail dresses with twisting seams and banded waists. Bubble-hemmed knee-length skirts looked like cropped harem pants. Color-blocked swimwear—a new addition to the collection—was sexy and body-hugging without being slutty. Low-pocketed silk jumpsuits (all jumpsuits all the time, Happy Fashion Week) and day dresses with contrast nylon straps as well as cable knit zip cardigans in cement gray were beachy, breezy and comfortable. Unisex pieces—blousy tees, open shirting, and a variety of over-sized, architectural outerwear—were presented on male models; proof of the versatility of the collection and the designer. Photo-prints were of blown-out blades of grass, tumbling ocean waves, weathered decking and white noise—the basis of her inspiration: nature overtaking the city. A variety of rich brown leather pieces—outerwear, shrugs, skirts—were a surprise addition as were the bits of wrist- and neck-hugging bent wood. At the closing of the show, the diminutive and grinning Cornejo walked the entire meandering catwalk—seriously a quarter of a mile—hand in hand with one of her tallest models. An adorable scene and a feel-good way to greet the rest of a very busy Fashion Week Monday.
· All Fashion Week Spring 2010 Stories [Racked]