Before she was spending 24/7 with People Magazine's sexiest man alive (and the runner up) as a formidably talented assistant director on a recent film set, Mariela cut her teeth in the film biz like all good women worth a lick - by starting on the ground and working her way up with a combination of smarts and savvy, pluck and grit. (Oh, and a smile that could melt even the most hard-hearted among us!) I still remember the film shoot where we met in the early 2003, Maria Full of Grace. She was the Second Assistant Director, I was doing some still photography and it was love at first sight. Since that time, I have watched her craft a stellar career, find true love, direct a storied wedding of her own, and start a family - all the while remaining the most grounded, generous, and styling gal her side of the lens.
What do you see trending now in fashion?
I've been traveling a lot lately for work and love seeing people wearing a lot of bold color; that and hot pants. They are everywhere!
What are your top 10 TIMELESS must have items for a best dressed closet?
A great coat. Not a warm puffy coat but a stylish fitted overcoat. It makes you feel and look 100 percent like a dame.
Knee boots, they never go out of fashion or style and you can wear it with anything. A great colorful scarf. This is a big thing. This can pull any outfit together and you can dress it up or down.
Red shoes. Any style but a great closet must have red shoes. I have ballet flats that I can't live without.
Red Cocktail dress. Everyone always says you need a good black cocktail dress but I think they have it all wrong. Red is daring and if you have a good red dress, you'll wear it anywhere.
A Blue Cardigan. I guess it doesn't have to be blue, but there's something about the color that brings comfort and being comfortable is timeless.
Blue jeans. As much as I love dressing up, a good pair of jeans really does it for me.
Black fitted blazer. It compliments anything.
Cream turtleneck cashmere sweater. A must have!
Diamond earrings. I'm not much into too much bling but must say that a good pair of diamond earrings are classic.
When was the last time you had a fashion epiphany?
Just recently. That comfort is effortless and effortless is sexy.
What is your favorite High brand? And your low brand? How do you mix high and low?
I tend to go high brand for special occasions (mostly evening dresses or special events) Some of my favorites dresses in my closet are Carmen Marc Valvo, BCBG MAx Azaria and Black Halo. Low brand, since I'm on the road quite a bit, I often find myself shopping at Target. They have some really great stuff and I wear whatever I buy at Target on set all day.
I think mixing is an art form and frankly I don't do it often as I would like to. I tend to mix by having a great pair of high brand shoes (my fave Marc Jacobs) with casual chic wear (jeans from Jcrew)
What is your go-to uniform for a day of work? The weekend?
Uniform for work- jeans, sneakers, flannel button down shirts. Although I try to look presentable at the end of the day comfort and practicality are really what it's all about on set.
The weekend- This ranges so much but it's mostly comfy wear, and for me lately that is some kind of sun/summer dress with a long worn in cardigan and flip flops. It's the easiest thing to slip into.
What is your favorite ILR piece and why?
I LOVE LOVE The Interlock ring. It's so beautifully crafted and the design is utterly romantic.
I also love The Wrap in Terra Cotta. Such bad a**! Anyone woman who wears this can rule the world.
Who are your fashion icons?
I know this will sound so cliche but really I don't have any. I love seeing what other women are wearing and try to sample from here and there.