Move over, Mary Crawley. There’s a real-life Lady Mary in Hollywood, Lady Mary Charteris, daughter of Catherine Guinness and James Charteris, the 13th Earl of Wemyss and 9th Earl of March. The 29-year-old model, DJ and “It” girl has just moved to Los Angeles from London with her rocker husband Robbie Furze and their band The Big Pink. At last night’s Barneys New York dinner for L.A. designer Robert Rodriguez, she dished about her old and new cities, her style secrets and her music.
WWD: You’re sporting a very L.A. manicure. Is that your new West Coast nail look?
Mary Charteris: In England you can’t do cool things like this, so now that I’ve moved here I’m obsessed with all this glitter. I thought it was kind of glitter-diamondy and we’re going to see Rihanna so I thought it was kind of appropriate.
WWD: What’s your connection to Robert Rodriguez?
M.C.: Well I’m new to L.A. so I’m just discovering new L.A. designers and the L.A. vibe. I just wanted to come check it out. I looked at all of his stuff [online] and loved it. That’s what brought me here. He just caught my eye.
WWD: What brought you across the pond and across the U.S.?
M.C.: We moved here, my husband and I, with our band The Big Pink. It’s just better received out here. People are so passionate about music in L.A., well, [in all of] America actually. They’re not so about what’s a hit at the moment, they find a song they like and they invest in it and they remember you forever whether you haven’t been on tour in three years or you just were on tour yesterday. They just don’t forget about you, and I love that about America. We came here to finish up, do our album, tour and we love it.
WWD: What’s the touring experience been like for you?
M.C.: It’s so fun. Touring America was everything so new and different for us. The food is great, everyone is so friendly and the fans are so lovely. You don’t get to spend too much time in one place because you’re always moving around, but we did the East Coast and the West Coast and I can’t wait to carry on doing more.
WWD: What’s your favorite destination in America?
M.C.: I love Texas. Although, we just played [in Austin at] South by Southwest. It was a little bit intense, a lot going on. I loved vintage shopping there. At the cowboy boots store I went into, there was a dog wearing sunglasses. I kind of miss that when I’m [in L.A.] because in London I like walking around and discovering secret spots. Here, everything’s word of mouth.
WWD: If we wanted to cross the pond to London, what secret spot would you send us to?
M.C.: London’s my home and I’m so comfortable there, so I just stick to what I know. I’m really bad at checking out the new things, so I always worry when I get asked that question. But I like Portobello Road. Every time I go there, there’s new restaurants and new shops, and on Friday and Saturday there’s the market, so I would probably tell someone to walk up and down Portobello Road and see what catches their eye.
WWD: What’s your fashion M.O.?
M.C.: I like to set my own trends and the best way to do that is to get a cool piece from someone like Robert and mix it with something that you’ve found, a one-of-a-kind thing. It just makes it look totally different from how you’ve seen it on a computer screen or magazine.