Hollister Hovey: Vintage Victorious

I love Hollister Hovey. Well, actually, I love her eye and style. And guess what else? She makes me want to drink gin! That’s right. She makes me dream of colonial Africa, where I would live in a roomy canvas tent, wear linen suits, doff a pith helmet, and drink lots and lots of gin. Maybe occasionally head into the bush, go native, and drop a fringe-eared oryx. Or maybe buy a beautiful antique Purdey shotgun and go pheasant hunting in Scotland. Or just stay home with my yellow Labrador Gunner, surrounded by books and old photos, and read Hemingway. “If something’s covered in exotic leather or a pith helmet, I’ll want it,” Hovey says. “It’s always been this way, probably from the womb.”

“However, my mom potty trained me with bribes of Calvin Klein underwear … perhaps I was more of a minimalist back then. For clothing, menswear-inspired designs from the ’20s through ’40s really get my blood pumping, especially on women. Katherine Hepburn, Amelia Earhart — what babes.”

Aesthetically speaking, Hovey is like the bastard child of Hemingway, adopted by Royal Tennenbaum, who has crept into the mind of Walton Ford, dropped acid, and scooted out with just enough inspiration to forge her own style. And what a style it is: taxidermy and Audubon prints, tweedy, slightly Goth-prep with an outdoorsy ephemera and loaded with turn-of-the-century relics and keepsake colonial Britannia. Her antique finds, designs, art, and fashion are from a bygone era — a simpler, gentle time of eccentric tradition and well-heeled adventure. So, it is no wonder the New York Times recently featured her. But a blurb isn’t enough. Be sure to check out her own bloggy website, where she touches on everything from antique specs to taxidermy. Without a question, Hollister, you can decorate my domicile any day.

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