Thrilled by fashion—the London stylist to watch
“I think Londoners are rather eclectic and thus unique,” says Martha Ward, a contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country UK. “We have a history of being rather eccentric and this still seems to manifest itself in our style.”
Ward’s style reflects this London-specific freedom and her choices embrace the whimsical and wonderful—with a cheeky femininity. It’s no wonder she’s the go-to stylist of the moment with a cult following (35K!) on Instagram @marthaward and on her blog Martha Magpie.
Ward started her days in the Tatler fashion closet and spent many years working with Condé Nast and contributing to Vogue.com UK. Ever since she’s embraced the freelance life—dressing actors for red-carpet events one day, working on commercial projects the next, while continuing to contribute to her favorite magazines. Here, she gives us her insight into her aesthetic, reveals the big summer trends heading our way, and shares where to shop in her local hood, Chelsea.
How would you describe your style and who has been your greatest influence?
I would say ethereal and pretty, yet quirky and a little unpredictable. I am greatly inspired by vintage fashion and the old films of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. Artists from the Bloomsbury Group, like Duncan Grant, are another huge influence. And then more modern artists like Tim Braden—color palettes and strokes of my dreams!
What do you think will be a big spring trend?
Prairie is my favorite trend for Spring 2016. Bucolic and beautiful, a prairie dress is ideal for so many spring and summer occasions. I’ve long been an advocate and wearer of prairie dresses and appearing like an extra from Little Women or Pride & Prejudice, so I’m thrilled to be finally “in fashion.”
After a hectic fashion week, how do you unwind? What 3 London spots can you suggest for pampering?
I like to wander through London’s gardens and parks, of which there are plenty; the Chelsea Physic Garden is a particular favorite for a moment of calm but for a wild walk I’d go to Richmond Park. If I’m in need of a treat I might go to Liz Earle in Chelsea for a facial or enjoy a massage at the Bamford Haybarn Spa at Fortnum & Mason. That’s only if I don’t have time to head out of town to visit their Gloucestershire spa for a day—that’s the ultimate restorative treat.
Can you share your 3 go-to boutiques in your neighborhood?
I live in Chelsea in London and love to pass by Bluebird. They carry great brands and also sell books and magazines and candles and other lifestyle pieces so it’s a very rewarding place to browse. Felt is the polar opposite. It’s a tiny, quirky little store in Chelsea Green and a veritable trove of jewels and treasure, and they have a vintage rail of clothing too. And Cabbages & Roses is another favorite, on Sydney Street. It’s fashion and homeware and vintage-inspired and thus full of the most fabulous chintz and florals.