Right in time for summer, Bamford has joined forces with Martha Ward to offer a small but perfectly formed ready-to-wear collection, and excitingly, the line has dropped today. Consisting of seven pieces, all made from 100% organic cotton, expect romantic dresses, jumpsuits and blouses with scallops, frills and ruffles galore, in a nostalgic color palette of white, bon bon pink, and mellow yellow.
Martha tells us more about her new capsule collection with the leading lifestyle brand, Bamford.
Inspiration: This collection incorporates nostalgic features taken from my best-loved childhood clothes and my favorite details in vintage clothing. Smocking, good collars, puff sleeves, embroidery, pockets in unexpected places – these details are key features throughout the designs as they can add to making a piece of clothing special, or unique.
Starting points: When designing this collection, I looked to all my favorite elements and vintage detailing that are generally quite hard to find in modern-day creations so those were my starting points. I think of my favorite vintage pieces from bygone eras, as well as old films and vintage photography and other historic references.
Versatility: This collection is feminine and detailed but also versatile which is vital for me when buying clothes as I love being able to wear pieces in different ways.
The Smock Day Dress wears completely differently when the ties hang loose and the buttons are undone; versus buttoned up with a pretty bow tie. The cornflower blue or white double-breasted Tuxedo Blouse can be paired with a pair of jeans or thrown over a swimsuit on the beach.
I designed two very different style shirts as I can never resist a pretty blouse and smocking is literally in my DNA, and yet I also love the masculine oversized nature of the double-breasted shirt. This is an element I haven’t seen before so wanted to try it as I am a sucker for a vintage men’s dress shirts, so this was a bit of a play on that. I wanted the two dresses to be easy to wear and as apt for London as much as the countryside as well as a holiday abroad. And I was conscious of all body shapes and sizes too. Above all, these pieces should be easy to wear without pretense. Clothes should be special, treasured, and – ultimately – for keeps.
Detail: Detail for me was critical. I embraced delicate embroidery (which delightfully enabled me to add hints of pink – my favorite). Smocking is a beloved detail of mine so that had to be included. And I have yet to find a perfect dress with long shoulder ties so I thought I’d make it instead – with the additional element of a pretty scallop edge. I could go on and on…but basically, nostalgia was my inspiration. Whilst keeping it modern.
Slow artisanal fashion: Carole Bamford and I have lots of shared passions and have similar loves for certain things. What she has created with Bamford is unique and appealing and the ethos behind the brand is what I admire most. I also love how things are made using original artisanal techniques very much by hand. Such care and attention to detail are really important to me and are what make something special. We need to really focus our attention to the embracing of quality over quantity element in clothes nowadays.
See the collection on bamford.com.