Maura Deranne, the new first lady of daytime TV, opens up to Georgina Heffernan about her fashion hits...and misses.
Georgina Heffernan: You are clearly a fan of fashion, do you enjoy experimenting with your look?
Maura Derrane: Not really, I’m quite conservative when it comes down to it. I love fashion but, at this stage, I don’t take many fashion risks. I know what suits me and tend to sick to the kind of classic cuts that really flatter my figure. When it comes to style, there’s a huge difference between the kind of trends that you can get away with wearing in your twenties, in comparison to the kind of clothes you’ll wear in your thirties or forties. That said, I recently bought a pair of harem pants, which was quite a different look for me, and that’s because I really make an effort to step out of my comfort zone every now and then.
GH: Who is your fashion icon?
MD: I love old Hollywood and the style icons from that period such as Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly but it’s not exactly practical as an everyday look, so I try to save that for black tie events. When it comes to modern day style icons, I love Angelina Jolie’s look and that’s because, she is always elegant and appropriately dressed whatever the occasion. From her red carpet gowns to her casual wardrobe of combats and t- shirts, she always looks amazing.
GH: What is your favourite city to shop in and why?
MD: I adore shopping in Paris because there are so many quirky vintage stores and boutiques but if I’m looking for a bargain New York is my destination of choice. I love classic American labels such as Ralph Lauren - and they are cost half the price at stores such as Macys and Century 21.
GH: As a woman in the public eye, how do you deal with so much focus being paid to your appearance?
MD: I’m very lucky to have Catherine Manning from the RTE wardrobe department to help me choose my clothes for 'Four Live'. She has a really good eye for fashion and always seems to know what looks best on me. This season my look is far more casual than before and I really like that because it’s a relaxed, fun show - and we want to be able to relate to the women watching at home.
GH: Any fashion disasters?
MD: I’d never wear anything too baggy or flouncy, you know, the hippie look; it just does not suit me. I’m much better in fitted, waisted garments because they are the most flattering for my figure. My signature look is a classic style and I’ve been told, many times, that I really suit that 40’s trend. I don’t really do ‘edgy’ or cool.
GH: What is your favourite trend this season?
MD: I’m a huge fan of the colour blocking trend and think that it’s a really great look, especially for spring. Bold, bright colours really suit my complexion because anything pastel or too washed out tends to make me washed out or tired, so this is a trend I’ll certainly be trying out this season.
GH: What’s your fashion addiction?
MD: I love bags and dresses and my wardrobe is literally jam packed with frocks of every style, shape and description. I love to wear a dress because they are so easy; you just slip one on and you are dressed. My other fashion addiction is the TV show ‘Mad Men’, I tune in every week and I adore all of the clothes in the show – especially the ones worn by Christina Hendricks. Stunning.
GH: Who are your favourite designer and your favourite high street store?
MD: Generally, my wardrobe is a mix of both. When it comes to the high street, my favourite shop has to be Karen Millen because the dresses always are a gorgeous fit and many of them have an in-built corset that helps to flatter and shape your figure. For eveningwear, I’ve worn a lot of amazing gowns by Irish fashion designer Marion Murphy but, if I had to pick my favourite dress of all time it would have to be my wedding dress. It was created by a designer called Amy Michaelson, and it’s very old Hollywood and romantic; it will always hold a special place in my heart.