Rising Star Aria Mia Loberti Channels Audrey Hepburn for Debut TIFF Appearance


To say that Aria Mia Loberti has that It factor, a magnetism that lights up the screen, would be a gross understatement. She did, after all, land the lead role of Marie-Laure LeBlanc in the upcoming adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel All the Light We Cannot See out of thousands of hopefuls during a global casting search for blind and low-vision actresses. Although she had no prior acting experience, Loberti—who was recently named the newest L’Occitane global ambassador—made a big impression, and an early preview of the series confirms her star power. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that Loberti was celebrated as one of the 2023 TIFF Rising Stars this past weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. The prestigious program showcases the next generation of international acting talent poised for success. Previous honorees include Thuso Mbedu, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Tatiana Maslany. During their time at the festival, TIFF’s Rising Stars are immersed in a series of public events and development meetings with notable industry insiders. For Loberti, the whirlwind three days included stops at the Chanel x Variety annual Female Filmmakers Dinner and the TIFF Tribute Awards. With the help of stylist Sarah Slutsky Tooley, she made quite the fashion impression at both. 

Here, Loberti documents the fantasy weekend exclusively for Who What Wear.

Chanel x Variety Female Filmmakers Dinner


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"I approach fashion as three-dimensional art—art that can become one with a living, breathing body through shape and texture. The stitching detail on the vintage-inspired shoes harmonizes with the bag’s supple quilted leather and intricate chain shoulder strap. The only thing to me that’s more quintessentially Chanel than the timeless silhouettes and interlocking C logo is the texture of the meticulously handwoven tweed. I was so excited to feel it for the first time when I tried on this skirt!”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"One of the most exciting parts about entering this industry is working with other artists to tell a story. I have such respect for hair and makeup stylists’ incredible work. Of course, they help me evoke more layers in the characters I play and give me space to quiet my own thoughts to ground myself in their identity. But it’s not much different when getting ready for an event like this. I think this is a type of storytelling too. My goal is to capture the spirit and energy of my clothing and tell a story through my look. I was inspired by archival images of Chanel’s heritage, and these two incredible artists, Simone Otis and Chanel Croker, ran with it.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"As an actor, I spend most of my time in makeup, whether it’s a look for an event or some not-so-glamorous dirt, cuts, and bruises for a character. So I try to give my skin a rest whenever I can. These products from L’Occitane are some of my favorites. I use the delicate Immortelle Reset Serum to soothe and smooth my skin. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Okay, she’s their brand ambassador.’ But I really do use it every day, and I have noticed a big difference. The shea butter hand cream, in its shining tube, is so luxurious too. The fact that the brand puts so much effort into making ethical and sustainable products makes it even better.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti; Styling: Sarah Slutsky Tooley; Hair: Chanel Croker; Makeup: Simone Otis)

"Here is the whole ensemble! The jacket, which juxtaposes diaphanous ruching with sturdy quilted details and statement buttons, ties together so beautifully with the tweed skirt and knit sweater-shirt. I love the contrast between light and dark—whether it’s the statement of the white tweed amid so much black or hints of skin and shape beneath the fabric of the top.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"And we’re off! My guide dog, Ingrid, is not just wearing her triple strand of pearls as a homage to Chanel. In fact, she never leaves the house without a pearl necklace. This is because she is a fancy woman with high standards. However, her pearls are from the party section in Target, not from Chanel.”


(Image credit: Michael Buckner/Variety)

"I was fangirling so hard to have the chance to wear a legacy fashion house’s work in any capacity—let alone be styled in a head-to-toe look—at a sponsored event like this. I grew up in a working-class family, and I always had such an appreciation for these historically significant designer brands, but I never thought I’d ever get to wear them. I hope I made them proud.”

TIFF Tribute Awards


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"After a long day of invigorating Rising Stars programming, it’s time to get ready for the TIFF Tribute Gala. I always assumed my favorite stars just put on some makeup, stepped into a gown, and voilà—red carpet ready. But it takes a village: my stylist, Sarah Slutsky Tooley, and her team; the tailors who help a short girl fit into clothes made for stunning Amazonian models; my agents, manager, and publicists who coordinate getting me to the event itself; my best friend, who came with me on this trip and got stuck steaming clothes when I ran out of time; my mom and dad, who cheer me on on FaceTime; and, of course, Ingrid. All of this before I can take a seat in the hair and makeup chair. I could not do any of this without the team behind me.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"Inspired by the spectacular jewelry and dress, I wanted to convey a sense of Old Hollywood glamour with my hair and makeup. I hoped we could include a few nods to Audrey Hepburn, who I very much look up to in the realms of acting, activism, and fashion. Simone and Chanel encapsulated the timeless quality of Audrey and her fellow golden-age icons.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"I am so grateful to Bulgari for allowing me to wear their extraordinary jewelry for this event and, of course, for sponsoring the event too. Jewelry is a sculptural and tactile experience for me. These magnificent rings were heavy on my fingers but held such delicate textures, from the settings of the diamonds to the engraved Bulgari logo in the tiniest etching. So much of my visual experience is made up of light and reflection. As you can imagine, the manner in which the exquisite diamonds in the rings, necklace, and earrings caught the light was captivating.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"Fashion is a dialogue with the world around me, a way for me to feel connected to others and lift up my voice. Prior to these last couple of years, I hid behind my clothes. I never wore patterns or anything bright, and I’d always cover up as much as I could. I would not have had the confidence to pose for a photo like this, especially in the middle of a gala. When I found acting—or, rather, it found me—I also found myself for the first time. I found my happiness. I feel empowered by my triumphs and my flaws, and I want my clothes to be a part of my story.

"Taking black-and-white photos is especially significant and equalizing for me, as I can’t see any color—yet another reason why I’ve had such a deep love of old films since I was little.”


(Image credit: Aria Mia Loberti)

"Attending an event like this is magical, but it’s even more thrilling to attend in one of my absolute favorite brands, Dior. I am inspired by the way Maria Grazia Chiuri has spearheaded this iconic brand as it’s first female creative director, championing Dior’s legacy of women’s empowerment with meaning and fierceness. My first—and so far only—splurge after completing my first acting role was visiting Dior on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and purchasing the coat of my dreams. It was the first time I wasn’t [living] paycheck to paycheck, with money to spend that didn’t have to all go to surviving, and it was such a big step for me. When I found out Dior had sent me a dress to wear for such an important moment, I was incredibly moved. Add to that the spectacular tactile quality of the lace, the bold contrast of black and white, and the flowing drape of the skirt. … I can’t believe I got to wear something as beautiful as this.”


(Image credit: Getty Images; Styling: Sarah Slutsky Tooley; Hair: Chanel Croker; Makeup: Simone Otis)

"You’re probably wondering what goes through someone’s head on a red carpet at the center of all the flashing lights and joyful chaos. I am definitely not the person to ask because I am pretty sure I blacked out. However, now that I’ve had a chance to digest it all, let me try to put the feeling into words:

"To be thrust into a world like this, where expressing myself through iconic brands like Dior, Chanel, and Bulgari is possible, is overwhelming but so exciting. To celebrate art and storytelling at such a prolific event is an absolute privilege. But to be honored myself for having a future in a career I never once dared fantasize about? It’s indescribable. Being an actor in any capacity never seemed like an opportunity available to someone like me and felt about as unattainable as finding a wardrobe leading to Narnia or receiving a Hogwarts letter. I can’t express my gratitude enough.”

Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.