Inside the Head of Fred Holston

He’s a sitar-playing, thrift-shopping, fur-wearing, whiskey-drinking, art-making original who smells like he rolled around in a forest…

Amy Adams. Portraits Mindy Byrd
February 28, 2013

Fred Holston is 100 times cooler than you — and really, really nice about it. Amy Adams chats with the soft-spoken 20-something behind New Faces and Development at the Kim Dawson Agency and, in the process, develops a jumbo-sized crush.

Not drums, not guitar … the sitar? Really? I became infatuated with the infusion of Middle Eastern music into late 1960s rock ‘n’ roll my freshman year of high school. I decided, “Why not buy one and try to figure it out?” I’ve been plugging away on it ever since.

Fragrance: Chanel Sycomore mixed with vetiver oil.

First concert: I went to music festivals and concerts with my family pretty regularly when I was a kid, but The Cure was the first concert I begged to attend.

Personal style: Psychedelic, androgynous, freaky, dandy, weirdo. 

Dolly Python is your preferred shopping haunt. Last three things you purchased there? A fox fur, a large hand-shaped medallion made of silver and coral from India and an antique Masonic banner.

Signature drink: Whiskey, neat.

Dallas restaurants you’d recommend: Lucia, Victor Tango’s and The Meridian Room.

Best advice you could give an aspiring model: Take every opportunity that presents itself and ask as many questions as possible. Be grateful and humble, but enjoy yourself and savor every moment. (Oh, and be on time.)

You’ve played in various bands since you were 15 years old. Favorite song to cover? “Nowhere to Run” by Martha & the Vandellas.

Most overused expression: I say the word “amazing” far too frequently, but, to be fair, I am amazed by things on a daily basis.

Dream getaway: I could vacation on the Oregon Coast exclusively for the rest of my life and be completely content. Something about being by the ocean surrounded by beautiful, lush forests really puts everything in perspective.

Style icons: Brian Jones, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Sky Saxon, Al Tidwell and Amy Hays.

Tell us about your art: It’s a mixture of nostalgic, religious and pop-culture imagery. By and large, my work is not super conceptual, just an opportunity for me to combine things that excite me visually. I create multiply exposed collages in the dark room, then use those photographs to create silkscreened prints.

Five desert-island albums: Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones, Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, Further Adventures of Charles Westover by Del Shannon, Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Bros. and Something Else by The Kinks.

Most admired Dallasite: My father, Bill Holston; his passion, understanding and selflessness constantly inspire everyone around him. He is the executive director of Human Rights Initiative, which provides free legal services for immigrants who face political persecution in their native countries.

What isn’t in your closet? Faux fur, square-toed boots or jeans that allow me to have circulation in my legs.

Favorite local place to get in touch with Mother Nature: The Spring Creek Nature Preserve in Richardson. It’s the only known place in the world where eight different species of oaks are found growing in the same ecosystem, some of which are estimated to be between 300 and 500 years old. Also, Jacob Routh, an original settler of Dallas, is buried in a gated historic cemetery there.

Your last $100 would be spent on: A Cire Trudon Ernesto candle from Grange Hall.

If only you’d invented: Dry shampoo.

Most loved Spring 2013 designer collection for women … and for men: Haider Ackermann is my all-time favorite every season. His elegant, layered silhouettes are so poetic and romantic. For men, my favorite is Ann Demeulemeester. Almost all of her collections are inspired by the whimsical yet minimal style of close friend Patti Smith, whom I have been enamored with since middle school.

Treasured clothing: A beautiful blue silk velvet blazer I purchased from Clotheshorse Anonymous for nothing a few years back. I’ve worn it so much that it’s full of holes, but I refuse to ever retire it.

The circa-’70s band you wish you could have partied with: The Rolling Stones when they were recording Exile on Main St. in the south of France.

Best karaoke song: It depends on my mood. “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane if I’m feeling freaky or “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child if I’m feeling super freaky.

Favored artists: Claude Cahun, Gilbert & George, László Maholy-Nagy, Richard Long and Man Ray.