UP CLOSE & PERSONAL  -with Hellen Ward

Laugh along to? 
Viz magazine, James Acaster, Roger's Profanisaurus, Modern Toss, Stath Lets Flats, Come Fly with Me, Monty Python (especially Life of Brian) - and forever Phoenix Nights.

Reading material?
Susan Hill, Jake Arnott, Ira Levin, Ian McEwan and Malcolm Gladwell for anything business. Reading Osho is pretty life changing. Rumi or Atticus for poetry.

Mastermind specialist subject?

Bowie - what else?

If not in the hair and beauty industry? 
Either a media lawyer or journalist.

Favourite films?
Other than Atonement and On Chesil Beach (love anything by Ian McEwan), anything about music; Saturday Night Fever, Purple Rain, Supersonic, Quadrophenia, Northern Soul, The Stone Roses: Made of Stone, Trainspotting & T2, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture, Control (about Ian Curtis, Joy Division). Ibiza; The Silent Movie is fantastic, too. 

 

Life philosophies?
Do something for the right reason and you'll get the right result.

Be the change you want to see. Live your truth. 

Life is a series of chapters; embrace each new one. Holding on never works. Letting go does. 

What's for you won't go by you. 

The universe has got your back - everything happens for a reason.

There's paralysis in the analysis.

You can have negative thoughts but you don't have to believe them; you can choose to merely observe them instead. Thoughts become things.

Brands you love? 

Azulara, of course, especially my wrap skirts and sundresses and my Ziggy/Prince jewellery. Zadig & Voltaire. Maje. Sandro. Lucy Choi. Guiseppe Zanotti shoes. Mercy Delta silk shirts. For jeans, Frame, Mother, Current Elliot or Paige.  Also Chanel jewellery, shoes and jackets (when I can afford it).

Favourite escape?
My villa in Ibiza when there are no teenagers partying there. 

City dweller or country bumpkin?
I'm an urban girl, but in Ibiza I get my tranquillity fix, especially in winter (believe it or not, it's not all partying...)

Worst character traits?
Impatience (why wait until tomorrow when you can do it now?). Not being able to suffer fools. I'm also a bit of a queue shit magnet - people tend to always use the point where I'm standing as a walkway. My straight-talking approach. I'm normally the bad cop...

 

Best character traits?
Foresight. Intuition (a blessing and a curse). Kindness. I'd like to think my sense of humour. Diligence - I always do what I say I'm going to do. Integrity. I'm also quite fearless.

Collects?

Designer labels. Sunglasses. Dents in my cars (should have been a panel beater). Make-up. Shoes (heels only).  Jewellery. Handbags. Rock and pop prints... (I'm running out of walls). Music autobiographies. Sets of Tarot cards and crystals.

 

People would never know but...
I'm a bit psychic; the technical term is claircogniant (whereas clairvoyants see things and clairaudiants hear things, I know things - think of it like having a true gut feeling) - every fellow psychic can spot it in me.  I can read tarot cards and runes. I study numerology and astrology and go to The College of Psychic Studies in London. I have recently learned how to mediate properly and now it's become part of my routine (twice a day). 

 

Playlist? 
Bowie, Radiohead, Pacha's Flower Power playlist on Spotify, Prince, Suede, Kasabian, Stone Roses, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, The Doors, Jeff Buckley and of course Duran Duran (who come into the salon and turn me into a swooning idiot even now). 

Desert Island Discs? 
Lady Grinning Soul (Bowie, Aladdin Sane), Waterfall (Stone Roses), Lover You Should Have Come Over (Jeff Buckley), Five Years (Bowie, Ziggy Stardust), Wild Is the Wind (Bowie, Station to Station), The Wild Ones (Suede), Creep (Radiohead) plus my current all time favourite The Beautiful Ones (Prince)- and a Roget's Thesaurus as my book, Chanel Lip Gloss as my luxury item.

 

Favourite album? 
As I couldn't possibly just pick one Bowie ... The Stone Roses - I've listened to it almost every day since it came out in 1989 (sad, I know).

Guilty Pleasure?

Going to see tribute bands at The Half Moon in Putney. Watching Saturday Night Fever and Purple Rain endlessly. 

 

Heaven?

Willian/Chelsea FC, especially watching them at Stamford Bridge. Chanel lip gloss. Diamonds and aquamarines - working on my jewellery range in Hatton Garden is not work to me. Narciso Rodriguez perfume. Beautiful song lyrics. Looking over to Dalt Vila from my roof terrace in Ibiza late at night. The District Line running well. Yoga. Re-bounding. Compiling a great playlist for any occasion. Hand written letters. Bowie. Salted almonds. Cherries. Hazlenuts. Beautiful fabrics like silk or cashmere, especially if it's hand tie-dyed. My job (sometimes)...

Room 101?
Spaniards trying to drive around roundabouts. Fancy dress parties. Surprises. Frogs or toads (I have randiaphobia). The internet. Apple (I think they are guilty of planned obsolescence. I hate that my children make me have an i-phone just so they can get my upgrade). Any big companies that hide off-shore and don’t contribute to the economy (I tell my children to go into the loo on purpose in Starbucks and if questioned to say "I'll buy a coffee when you start paying corporation tax"). Ditto on-line businesses that hide behind their phoney bricks and mortar outlets but have 'staff' on zero hours contracts and warehouses in the middle of fields so they don't pay business rates. People who can’t spell or punctuate properly. Sugar. Junk food. Flaky people who procrastinate (I'm a do-er not a talker). Bad manners. People that don't hold their knife and fork properly. School fees. People that let you ask them loads of questions but never ask you a question back. Shouting (unless it’s appropriate, for instance at the football, then it’s OK if you can stomach the language). Festival toilets. My car. Companies that want your business but don't bother to get back to you. People that don't practise tube etiquette and let passengers of a train first. Shaking hands with people who have clammy or dirty, sweaty hands. People who don't use queue etiquette regarding spacial awareness. Working by committee isn't easy for any decision maker - it's like the Judean People's Front/People's Front of Judea when they get caught trying to overthrow the Romans...

 

If calories didn't exist?
I'd scoff Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips endlessly, eat paella on Talamanca beach every day when I'm in Ibiza, always have profiteroles for pudding and polish off numerous bars of Cadbury's Whole Nut or Peppermint Aero (from the fridge). I'd actually eat my crispy roast potatoes (instead of just cooking them for everyone else). I'd drink even more Bombay Sapphire & Slimline tonic or ice cold French Sauvignon Blanc with soda.

Life's too short not to..? 
Wear high heels. Buy orchids. Put your make up on even when you don't feel like it (you never know who you might meet). Say yes to an invitation. See a band live. Say no sometimes. Embrace your spirituality; listen to your soul. Remember that happiness is a choice.

Most precious possessions? 
Cards and letters from people I love. My Bowie prints. My jewellery.

Dream dinner party guests? 
Bowie, Prince, Coco Chanel, Oscar Wilde, Churchill, Liam Gallagher (and Noel just to make it really entertaining), Morrissey, Jim Morrison (my ultimate pin-up boy), JFK, Marc Bolan, Jeff Buckley (dream eye-candy) and Princess Diana.

I believe in..?

Yoga, twin flames, destiny, crystals and their healing power, akashic records, the afterlife, the moon's powers, karma (which is only a bitch if you are) ... what goes around, comes around.  Eventually what's good will stay in your life and what's bad will go, it just takes some faith. Positivity (thoughts become things...).

Business heroes? 

Lord Mark Price, ex-CEO of Waitrose, who really showed what well-communicated, strong, steady vision can do for a company and brand; I hugely admire him. Ian Schrager is another hero - he started nightclub Studio 54 in New York, did time for tax evasion, created the boutique hotel concept and developed his own chain of some of the best hotels in the world and finally got pardoned by the very judge who sentenced him - genius. For pure creativity, Ali Spencer-Churchill who heads up Annabel's is probably one of the most inspiring people I have ever met; his lateral thinking is awesome to behold and I'm very proud that I know him personally - his brain should be preserved and picked to pieces one day to find out how he thinks up the things he does. And I have to say Richard Branson as he's a national treasure and I love his attitude. 

Love/hate about the industry?

Committees ... see above! I also hate the way we are portrayed by the media. A government official started a recent meeting I attended regarding apprenticeships by telling us about his £9 haircut. If James Dyson was giving up his time to discuss engineering apprenticeships would he crack a joke about buying a £10 hoover? I doubt it... Also some of the people in our profession are beyond flaky.  I refuse to be drawn into the dreadful ego-fuelled, back-biting politics I've discovered at times (the women can be worse than the men - so disappointing and unnecessary). But I love that hairdressers always look young for their ages and are never boring, even if they do spout a lot of BS about business being fantastic when it's not.  And that they're planning to open a million salons,  start their own product range, franchise, etc, etc... yawn, yawn. 

Biggest quirks?

I whiten my teeth by brushing with Dove soap regularly between whitening them (try it, it works). And I'm obsessive compulsively tidy and organised. 

Best place for a night out? 

In London;  the pub - The Sloaney Pony (White Horse, Parsons Green) then dinner at Aragon House, Brook House on Eel Brook Common, The Fox & Pheasant (James Blunt's pub by Stamford Bridge), The Bluebird, Ziani, The Wolseley or The Caprice following by hitting the dance floor in Annabel's. In Ibiza, walking down from the villa on a hot summer's night to dinner at Sa Punta, followed by drinks at Destino then dancing at Pacha (of course...) and afterwards staggering home barefoot along Talamanca beach in the moonlight/sunrise. 

3 words to describe you?

Mercurial, compassionate, entrepreneurial...(typical Gemini). 

One day I will...?
Have my gap year and spend my days doing yoga on the beach in Ibiza dressed in tie-dye like the old hippy I can be at times; the antithesis of my power-dressed businesswoman stance. Then I will fulfil my ambition to DJ - even if I had to pay Absolute Radio to give me a one-off slot I would be in heaven (has to be the best job in the world in my book!).  I would love to guest with a friend of mine who is a famous DJ and I am forever dropping hints... he hasn't bitten yet but we do like testing each other's media trivia knowledge.

What's next?

Getting my work/life balance right is my top priority - spending one week in every 6 in Ibiza and getting out of London is key now my nest is empty... 

©2019 BY HELLEN WARD