Meet Holly Mitchell

untitled (377 of 876).jpg
 
 
Holly is a dancer from Vancouver. She moved to New York at age 18 to attend the dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Over the years, she’s performed various works of choreographers and performance artists, and collaborated with musicians, clothing designers, playwrights, film-makers, and designers. In addition to dance, she explores illustration, photography, video art, dance education, and yoga instruction.
 
  Blazer, Anne Klein Vintage;  Jeans, Levi's;   Shoes, Vans

Blazer, Anne Klein Vintage; Jeans, Levi's; Shoes, Vans

on her morning routine

I’m a bit nocturnal so my morning routine varies. Ideally, I’ll take a slow morning and drink tea with my roommates on the steps out back. Usually, I drink a glass of water, get an outfit together, pack my things for the day, and step out the front door within 10 minutes of waking.

I never have a regular schedule. I make myself busy but that's how I like it. I've been busy as long as I can remember and it's just more comfortable for me that way. I’m lucky that I’ve managed to work variety into my schedule which keeps things interesting. Regardless of my day, the best thing is ending off with some type of show. It’s brilliant- you’re always going to find some music, dance, theatre, or an offbeat $5 movie. 

 

  Shirt, Vintage; Pants, Ellie Tahari

Shirt, Vintage; Pants, Ellie Tahari

Read “Please Kill Me” if you haven’t. I bet you’ll like it. I got this copy, which is signed by Legs, at Desert Island in Brooklyn. Apparently, he lives across the street and comes in from time to time.
— on her favorite book

on her background

I started training in dance when I was 8 because of my interest in musical theatre. I would do these performances with theatre companies throughout the city and enrolled in ballet and tap because they seemed like good skills to have. The obsession snowballed quickly and soon I was spending more time in the studios than anywhere else. It has sort of stayed that way ever since. It’s evolved with me into something very different now. 

on the depiction of dance

Media tends to see dance in an over commercialized, hyper competitive light. This is just a sliver of what actually goes on. I feel that in reality, dance is a much more alive and evolving thing. It can be an exceptional art and combines beautifully with so many other disciplines and mediums. There are of course pressures that come with being a dancer. Ultimately, you are far more powerful as an artist if you keep your intention clear and choose not to be bothered with an external expectation of your work. 

on her dance career

Dancing professionally here is something else. I’ve been fortunate to work with a variety of artists and present my own work as well. Everywhere you go and everything you do here informs your work. It’s pretty magical. There are so many worlds you can step inside of that affect your taste, interests, understanding, motivators, reasons for creating, etc. As well, there’s sense of openness in the artistic community here. People aren’t afraid of themselves, and seem genuinely interested in sharing with one another what they’re up to creatively. You can work together with what limited resources you have, and perform in theatres, galleries, warehouses, living rooms, backyards, films, music videos, parks, whatever. 

My interest in film photography wasn’t really a conscious decision. I’ve always taken photos compulsively, and prefer most things about film. I’m nostalgic as hell and just like photographing everything. Also, photos have been a way for me to document times I would’ve probably forgotten otherwise. Right now I shoot with a Nikon 35mm and a Yashika t4. Humans as subjects are my number one- I’m totally fascinated by people. My photos are almost entirely experiential and mostly taken of close friends in weird moments. I find that people react differently these days when you whip out a film camera as opposed to digital. I’m not sure what it is, but the mood changes and I personally prefer the outcome.
— on her personal pursuits
 Holly's favorite beauty products
  Blazer, Vintage Anne Klein;  Jeans, Levis , Tank, Zara;

Blazer, Vintage Anne Klein; Jeans, Levis, Tank, Zara;

on her beauty routine

My beauty routine is pretty unexceptional. For me, less is more. I wash my face with water day and night, and apply a simple moisturizer (either a natural oil or minimal-ingredient face lotion). I use Weleda Skin Food. Twice a week, I exfoliate with Fat and the Moon’s masa & olive face paste. I really like this natural deodorant by Couvent de Minimes. I’m happy to just curl my eyelashes and apply under eye concealer. If I’m feeling it, I’ll wear black mascara, highlighter, and some red lip stain. I also use Glossier HaloscopeVanilla Musk Fragrance Minaret Cap by Nemat International, and Fat and the Moon Lip & Cheek Stain.

If you fight curly hair it will fight back. I use sesame oil on the ends and apply a natural serum. I let it air dry and trim it maybe twice a year.

Drink loads of water. Be nice to yourself and other people. Use organic rosehip seed oil on your face at night if your skin needs some extra love.  

on her shopping habits and style

I tend to stick to old favorites. I dress my mood, lean towards all-black, and swear by a solid pair of jeans, chelsea boots, and leather jacket. There’s a place in my heart for platform shoes. I have an overwhelming love for beautiful vintage items. For shopping, I’ve had some pretty good luck at Beacon’s Closet and my mom’s closet. Clothing swaps rule.

untitled (20 of 876).jpg
I grabbed Gary War’s “New Raytheonport” at this store liquidation in the East Village (sadly). It’s got really cool warped, psych-rock tracks and the cover design is totally genius. The whole thing is made of tear-off acid blotting papers.
— on her favorite record
  Shirt, Vintage; Pants, Ellie Tahari

Shirt, Vintage; Pants, Ellie Tahari

  Coat, David Benjamin Vintage; dress, sunday best; scarf, Polo Ralph Lauren; shoes, vintage;  Sunglasses, ray ban

Coat, David Benjamin Vintage; dress, sunday best; scarf, Polo Ralph Lauren; shoes, vintage; Sunglasses, ray ban

holly's favorite books

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

holly's favorite movies

Rosemary's Baby, Harold and Maude, Lost in Translation, Death Proof

holly's favorite places in nyc

Mast Book Store - for beautifully curated books and magazines 

Elizabeth Street Gardens - for reading said books (please consider helping save ESG link here!)

Routine Bushwick - for farm to table, vegetarian brunch

Otion Front Studios - for rehearsals and killer shows/screenings

Jadis Wine Bar - for hiding out with good wine

Spectacle Theatre - for byob movie nights

Snacky - for rice bowls, anime, and sake 

Crest True Value Hardware - for beautiful plants and Franklin the pig 

Brooklyn Inn - for stunning interiors on a gloomy night