Zero + Maria Cornejo Fall 2011: Radiant Heat and Recycled Cassettes

Some of Zero + Maria Cornejo’s classic elements – geometry, asymmetry, futuristic prints – can risk making a collection feel cold. This was not case in Cornejo's fall collection, however, which almost seemed to radiate.

In the literal sense, fabrics like soft-napped llama coating and knit alpaca with feathery fringe, would keep the wearer warm. Beyond that, the colors, prints, and textures seemed to have a heat all their own.

Cornejo said a warm ombre print of gold, tobacco, deep brown, and orange was inspired by a free-spirited friend’s photograph of a desert sunset. This landscape seemed to extend to textures too. Stiff strands of horsehair circled models’ collarbones, hung from bracelets, and even extended like grass above the black belt of an ecru dress. The prints repeated textured elements as well, in small abstractions of furry patterns.

Cornejo's ecological consciousness drove her choices of materials. Cognac leather got its color from natural vegetable-tanning, luxe llama coating was a more sustainable alternative to cashmere, and fabric made from recycled cassette tapes lent an evening dress some shine.

True to form, many dresses, sweaters, and jackets displayed a sort of geometric precision, falling in clean convex shapes from sharply cut lines. The results seemed almost cozy – or, in the case of a luxurious alpaca “pod” jacket and knee-length skirt in lipstick red, downright hot.

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