The Magic of Madrid with María Bernad
Take a tour of Madrid with art lover and vintage expert María Bernad, wearing H&M Conscious Exclusive SS19.
The first thing María Bernad noticed and loved about Madrid was the light. Being born in the south of Spain, the 24-year-old stylist, designer and fashion influencer came to Madrid two years ago — and fell completely in love.
”Madrid has the most amazing light, and the most beautiful buildings. I grew up in the middle of nowhere outside Alicante, and Madrid is a big city — but it’s still so warm and welcoming. And inspiring! It’s literally the place where all the creative people from the rest of Spain — artists, music groups, designers — come together. Madrid is like home to me now.”
In her apartment in the Alonso Martínez area, the wardrobe hides vintage finds, designer diamonds and lots of shoes. And maybe some dark memories from the past?
”I have never told anyone in fashion this, but when I was a teenager I was emo. Black short hair with a fringe, band t-shirts, lots of chains and black eye makeup. It’s a completely different style from how I dress now, but in some ways it’s still the same. I’m still being myself, playing with clothes and accessories. Some weeks when I’m working a lot I still dress only in black, other weeks I’m more colourful. My style is eclectic.”
She’s a true style icon herself, but when it comes to her own muses in fashion, María Bernad looks elsewhere. Her icons are artists and painters, like the American modernist Georgia O’Keeffe or the interior designer and New York legend Iris Apfel.
”I always find more inspiration in art than in social media. You can’t find anything new on Instagram. I’d much rather go to a museum and watch 200-year-old paintings and be inspired by the colours or the composition.”
FOR A RUN OR A DAY IN THE SUN…
The parks of Madrid
”Madrid is full of beautiful parks, Retiro being the biggest and most famous. I go for runs here every week. In the middle of the park there’s an amazing building called Palacio de Cristal, The Crystal Palace. I am always blown away by the light inside! A more hidden gem is the El Capricho a bit outside of the city centre. It’s insane! You can find animals and birds, they have a castle and lots of sculptures. It’s so, so beautiful.”
FOR A COFFEE…
Café del Jardin
”I’m always at the Museum of Romanticism since it’s so close to my house, just wandering around the building taking in all the 18th century art, furniture and details. In the middle of the museum there’s a really pretty coffee place with its own garden. When you order something they ask you to sit down and then bring you the coffee in beautiful porcelain cups. It’s like a really lovely old tea salon.”
FOR A DATE…
”This combined book store and coffee shop was one of the first places I visited when I came to Madrid. A date took me here, I was 20, it was my first time in Madrid and maybe it was the situation and the setting, but it had a magical ambiance to it in my eyes. I come here for poetry nights, or just to have a coffee and read a book.”
”This Russian restaurant is one of my favourites in Madrid. I’ve always been interested in Russian culture, and the food is so different and so good. Try the pink salad, a classic Russian creamy salad. They also have the best vodka!”
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
”When I need inspiration I like to go to the Thyssen, where all the best artists are represented: Magritte, Dalí, Mondrian, Monet… All the best ones from every art movement.”
María Bernad’s style is all about the contrast between masculinity and femininity. There are the dresses, the jewellery, the makeup and the fun accessories. And then there’s the oversized blazer, giving edge and power to any look.
For her favourite look right now, María balances the silver threaded top from the H&M Conscious Exclusive collection — made from citrus peel from juice production, transformed into a sustainable, high-quality fabric – with a men’s blazer in beige.
”I’m a girl, and I really love to be feminine. But at the same time I’m more comfortable in men’s clothes. I like to play with fashion and change the shape of my body so that people will see and find inspiration in the clothes I’m wearing and not just … me and my body. Wearing an oversized blazer over a dress or a girly blouse makes me feel both more feminine and full of power.”
”A book to read on the train or the bus — I don’t want to be on the phone all the time. Lip balm and lipstick, which I use with just a little touch on my lips and cheeks. A notebook to write down everything I have to do the next day. And my analogue pocket camera that I got from my mum. She always took pictures of me and my siblings with it when we were kids.”
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT NO ONE WOULD EVER EXPECT?
”I have seven dogs. I used to work at a shelter for abandoned dogs, and when it shut down I took the dogs with me. They live at my parent’s place, which is more like a park than a house. I miss them a lot.”
MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
”A really old hairbrush in a beautiful crystal box, which has been my great grandmother’s.”
THE FIRST JOB YOU EVER HAD?
”When I was 16 I worked in a shoe store. For free! I really love shoes.”
THREE THINGS YOU LOVE?
”My family, travelling, art & fashion.”
WHEN DO YOU GET NERVOUS?
”I’m super shy and get nervous all the time. I work hard on this, to talk with people I don’t know and to come out of my bubble, but it’s really difficult for me.”
MOST PLAYED SONG ON YOUR SPOTIFY?
”The Cure – Friday I’m in love”
SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD TRY?
”Swimming naked in the sea. I did it just the other week where my parents live.”
BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
”It sounds so material, but when I moved away from home to study fashion, my grandmother gave me her vintage Chanel bag. I love it.”
BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?
”For Father’s Day last year I gave my dad tickets to a concert with Roger Waters from Pink Floyd. We went together and he was so happy and cried and said ’I’m so proud of you!’. It was such a great memory.”
WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE AS YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH?
FULL NAME: María Bernad
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Alonso Martínez
OCCUPATION: Stylist, designer and influencer
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Aries