Around this time of year, something changes. Finals coming to a close, the tired eyes of overworked students brighten with looks of happiness and relief, and suddenly, campus is full of holiday spirit. I spotted this Fashionista underneath some festive lights, her casual, comfortable, yet nonetheless sophisticated ensemble catching my eye for its sheer effortlessness. Hailing from the inspired streets of Istanbul, with roots firmly planted in her family’s native Italy, Gabriella Manzini’s mastered that intrinsic European style most state-siders yearn to obtain. In this outfit, simplicity is key — the subtle touches and neutral color palette are what make everything look so nice and still carefree. Her off-white, cable-knit turtleneck and faded blue jeans make for a classic combination, while the camel peacoat (with some great detailing on the back) provides the perfect compliment. Everything works in perfect unison — including the coordinated Sorel boots, which add a dash of personality without taking away from the posh feel — creating a get-up in perfect harmony with the prevailing winter cheer.

Name: Gabriella Manzini

Major: Psychology

Year: Sophomore

CollegeFashionista: How has college influenced your style?

Gabriella Manzini: I grew up in Istanbul, so until I came to college my main point of reference when it came to fashion was Turkish fashion. In Istanbul, the majority of people have a good sense of style and the fashion industry is growing, but I didn't feel that there was a great variety. New York has shown me a much greater range of possibilities; I've learned I don't necessarily need to stick with one style, but can move around and mix-and-match.

CF: Who/What serves as your fashion inspiration?

GM: There is no one person that I actively look to as my inspiration, but I often catch myself dressing up and realizing I look a lot like my mother. She dresses in a very classic manner and she has given me a lot of good tips. For example, I never go to school in my sweatpants no matter how tired I am. In high school, I was always jealous of my friends who went to school in their sweats, but now I feel it's a question of respect. I don't think that you need to be dressed your very best every day of the week, but I think that fashion is in a lot of ways about respect, towards yourself and the people around you.

CF: What are some of your favorite winter weather accessories?

GM: Fingerless gloves and a matching scarf are the perfect addition to any outfit in the winter. Chunky knit accessories are also very cute and you can be certain that they will keep you warm. 

CF: Where are some of your favorite places to shop in the city? At home?

GM: In the city my favorite stores are definitely Madewell, INA, the H&M in Harlem (which always seems to have much more than the others). At home in Istanbul I like to shop in Turkish stores like Yargici, Vakkorama and the spanish brand Massimo Dutti.

How To: So long as they live above the Mason-Dixon line, winter coats are perhaps the most integral part of a Fashionista’s wardrobe. The options are endless, but the criteria of just which choice is right for you make the final decision quite easy. Obviously, the biggest factor is warmth; peacoats like Gabriella’s always look polished, but if the temperature drops below freezing, chances are you’ll be quite frostbitten yourself.  Embrace puffers and down-jackets — any belted style will reduce bulk, and if you opt for black, the volume will decrease even further. Those looking to make a bit more of a statement, however, should go for some of the retro, vibrant neon designs that have transitioned from the slopes to the runway these past few seasons. Whatever choice you make, remember to make it a good one — a well-made, quality jacket should get a Fashionista through even the most treacherous blizzard without even a single chill.

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