Q&A | Hollister Hovey



Photo of Hollister and Porter Hovey by Michael Weschler for The New York Times, photo of Hollister Hovey by Porter Hovey.

Hollister Hovey has been cultivating a 19th and early 20th century-inspired well-traveled aesthetic for some four years on her popular blog which bares her name. Each time she acquires something, like say, a vintage LV steamer trunk with purple and white stripes or an Out of Africa-esque safari chair I curl up with envy, so I had to find out more about Ms. Hovey. When I initially approached her to do a Q&A she was on her way to Spain for a quick getaway in a pair of navy and white espadrilles, now she's back stateside with some excellent answers to questions of great importance.


If not in New York, I would live...
in The Hudson Valley (yes, still NY state). My sister went to college up there and the natural beauty and architecture are beyond compare. You get mountains, an incredible river, English gardens, wild woods and old graveyards—and robber baron mansions.

My dream holiday would be to...go on safari and find relics from the colonial era in an undiscovered small town shop. My aunt and uncle went to South Africa to do just that a few years back. From what they said my African shopping fantasy is just that. Ralph Lauren's staff probably got to it all first. They were served gin roughly every two hours, though. The dream stands.

My current obsessions are...Braising Fred Flintstone-sized lamb shanks that cook so long that the meat falls from the bone and melts in the mouth along with artichokes or Brussels sprouts quartered and roasted 'til soft and bearing black char marks; listening to Clyde McPhatter's version of Lover Please, which has been on repeat for a week (not in rotation, on repeat)—my sister wants to kill me; and shopping at the J.Crew men's shop, which is revolutionizing the American male, and the classic collaborations are trickling over to the ladies, it's wonderful.

I channel my childhood self when I...go to natural history museums or buy paints. I was a paleontology and art maniac as a kid. I loved dinosaurs and art supplies, not dolls.

The fictional character I most relate to is...Max Fischer. There wasn't a club I didn't join in school. Max had fencing and model planes—I had math team and quiz bowl (and about 3,456 others).

If I had to be outdoors all day I would...
spot up like a Dalmatian. Or wear loads of sunblock and ride horses in Montana, walk the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut or sit on the dock by Lake Megunticook in Camden, Maine.

My favorite quality in a man is...
kindness and honest confidence (a tie—and traits that often go hand in hand).

My favorite quality in a woman is...a wicked sense of humor.

I'm terrified of...frogs and grasshoppers. And I hate the smell of dying earth worms after a hard rain (it's a real smell, and it's awful).

My dream car is a...sea foam green Land Rover Defender—or an 1980s Mercedes 450 SL convertible in ivory with tan leather seats.

My cocktail of choice is...a Gordon's Cup (but I actually just drink far more beer and wine).

My celebrity crush is...Lee Pace. He's got great eyebrows.

My friends and I like to...hang out in all of our crazy apartments or go to sailor themed bars.

If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...
the 1920s.

As a teenager I was totally into...watching foreign films and My So-Called Life.

I tend to splurge on...luxury purses and luggage.

My obsessions for old boxy cars that weigh more than tanks, navy blazers with gold buttons, men's velvet slippers and all clothes and accessories worn by late 19th and early 20th century soldiers...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's a hipster. There's no two ways about it. Next, please.

This Much said...

I love her blog! And I also love this blog, so this is a great post for me to read. :)

I don't care if she's a hipster or hippie or housewife, it's great to see someone who just likes what they like, no matter what the trends.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, she sounds so interesting!!

Rebecca said...

Yeah, all the hipsters I know are into math team and late nineteenth-century soldiers. If by "hipsters," you mean grandpas! Although i find it pretty reductive to use the term when referencing someone whose singular style is admired by those with less confidence, there's a reason true hipsters are hipsters--in the original Beat sense of the word--it's because they are hip to stuff other people haven't gotten turned onto yet. So I'm gonna assume you meant to call Ms Hovey one as a compliment. And since you recognize a true hipster, you must be one, too! Congrats on being at the vanguard of coolness!"

Happenstance said...

Love! So much inspiration here Lizzie. So good.

Anonymous said...

Don't most hipsters take their cues from grandpas?

Anonymous said...

re: the hipster/grandpa conversation...
reminds me of a great exchange between bill & neal on "freaks and geeks"
"Oh yea? Is your grandpa supercool?"
-Bill's response to Neal's comment that he looks like his grandpa.

love grandpa chic

Rebecca said...

oooooh Lizzie! add that to your list of sequels. "grandpa style"

Lizzie said...

hahaha totally!

Anonymous said...

The dying earthworm after a hard rain smell is definitely real and definitely awful.

Cristin said...

I don't care if she's a witch. She has a great sense of aesthetics that seems very much her own. Her blog is massive eye candy too. Nice Q&A. I second Grandpa Style.