It’s an overcast lunchtime in July when I meet with Miranda Mazzarrella in the computer room at London College of Fashion. Impeccably groomed and very petite, her kind brown eyes sparkle as we shake hands and begin our introductions. “Isn’t this a terrible spot for an interview?” she says, “I feel very rude interrupting all these students.” But we have little choice, and so the interview begins. At the moment, Miranda’s hair is shaped into an elegant strawberry blonde bob, which emphasises her doe eyes and makes her appear even more like a woodland deer – a very beautiful one, of course.
It is easy to see her Italian heritage, both in her deportment and incredible zest for life. When asked if her style is influenced by her motherland she responds: “Possibly…I do love a bit of glamour! But it’s not intentional. I like faux fur jackets and sometimes even faux leather trousers. There are elements of Italy in my style, but it is mixed up with other pieces.” She explains that navy blue is her ‘colour of the moment.’ Very continental and sophisticated, just like the young woman herself. Her style has been honed through experience, and trial and error. She does not like to follow blindly. “I don’t like the idea of copying people. If I am influenced it is on a subliminal level. I quite like the vintage style of Zooey Deschanel. Audrey Tatou is also an influence.”
In fact, Mazzarella has the same coltish quality as Tatou, the same impish grin and miniature features. Her personal style cannot be pinned down to any one genre. Whilst inspired by vintage, she is not a slave to this ‘movement’ like some of the costume-wearing ladies who have taken the style to its extremes. No set pin curls or clichéd ruby red lips for Mazzarrella. Wearing a chic terracotta cropped t-shirt with ribbed black tights and a short skirt, she is prepared for the unpredictable British weather. Hailing from Kent, this is not wholly unexpected. “I originally wanted to wear a maxi dress, but my height wouldn’t allow it without heels! I am quite conscious of the weather, which is a boring thing to base your decision on, but I wanted to be practical. I wanted to wear tights but also to add a summer element, so I went for a brighter, looser top. Although it is loose, it is cropped which makes it a bit more interesting.”
Although Mazzarrella lives life in colour like a true Italian, she favours a muted palette for her clothes with a few pastel colours thrown in. But she says: “I don’t like to confine myself to any particular colour scheme.” She would never be seen in English pinks – “they make my complexion so sallow!” Her favourite shopping haunt at the moment is H&M: “Their prices are so reasonable and they have so much variety.” But she also favours Topshop and Urban Outfitters, when her budget allows. She adds, “I do try charity shops when I can, but I am not very good at it. I wish I was better.”
As we make our way out of the study room, Mazzarrella smiles in a conspiratorial way: “We must have been really annoying that poor student next to us.” But I can only assume that he must have overheard some useful style tips from the very continental and slightly quirky Miranda Mazzarrella.