Zero + Maria Cornejo

With spring-like temperatures, it was a Hallmark kind of day outside the Meatpacking studio where Maria Cornejo presented her Zero collection. Inside, angles and asymmetry dictated a poetic presentation. Geometry was a constant in deep V-necked dresses and alpaca cardigans, slanted hems and intersecting seams on Alto leather jackets and skirts, and circular, swooping lapels on merino wool wrap coats.

Fabric was just as important as the silhouettes, with an emphasis on reused, sustainable materials, from vegetable-dyed Italian leather to recycled cassette tapes for a shiny effect in evening pieces. The palette was soft gray, brown, copper and cinnamon, and when it was bold it was breathtaking: a silk sleeveless cocktail shell in Yves Klein blue and a Valentine’s Day-red skirt with a single-hook “pod” jacket. Some dresses came in prints, like the repeating motif of a bookcase, or a deep sunset that could have been taken from one of the ethereal photographs by Cornejo’s husband, Mark Borthwick.

Zero’s evolving aesthetic in recent years has extended to accessories, and these were subtle yet strong, including horsetail bracelets, golden wire necklaces and utilitarian handbags. The finale saw Cornejo, in a horsetail necklace, humbly accept the roaring applause, her beaming smile a little love-note to the audience.

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