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Friday, September 9, 2016

Maria Pinto's fall collection preview

M2057's designer Maria Pinto (right) stands next to one of her models, who's wearing a prefall halter-neck trapeze dress.

The M2057 fall collection was an homage to squares - hence lots of plaid pieces. The Mila jacket has a cinched waist that opens up to a peplum, creating the illusion of a modern bustle. The Glenda skirt was made out of a single piece of fabric.

Wardrobe stylists Arlene Matthews and Brandon Frein of Kit This learn about the collection.

Acclaimed designer Maria Pinto displays her latest collection in the West Loop

Acclaimed designer Maria Pinto has received multiple awards (including SAIC's Legend of Fashion in 2009), had her own exhibit at the Field Museum, sold her garments at stores such as Barneys and Neiman Marcus, and dressed Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. M2057, her new and more accessible brand, was funded via Kickstarter in 2013.  The pieces are constructed on demand—clients can then try on all the sizes at her showroom and place an order.

With prices starting at $150 and dresses typically averaging between $275 and $500, M2057 isn't exactly a bargain. But in the long run the pieces are comparably thrifty: the exclusive Italian fabric she uses is machine washable and doesn't pill or lose shape. This means the garment will always look new, with a minimum amount of money or work invested in its care—it doesn't even need to be ironed. Another advantage of the high-tech textile is that it doesn't fray; the garments are impeccably cut, with no bulky hems in sight. However, her shapes are minimal and intricate, almost like origami.

The line's first exclusive print—plaid, in homage to a "square" theme this fall—will be available on August 24. In the meantime, prefall pieces can be purchased at and at the M2057 Style Studio at 833 W Washington Blvd. Pinto is also currently selling geometric bags by Finell—the perfect complement to her practical, modern, and chic collection. 

Originally published in the Chicago Reader