Arriana Hohenlohe Boardman
Equine & Lifestyle Photographer. Competitive Equestrian. Board Member, ASPCA.
Our first Conversation is with a lady who is indisputably one of Palm Beach’s most stylish tastemakers. Arriana Hohenlohe Boardman is a breath of fresh air, the consummate hostess who is renowned for putting everyone at ease. As a Board Member of the ASPCA, she is a force on the charity circuit. Arriana’s love of animals extends to her discipline as a highly competitive equestrian.
An accomplished photographer, we were thrilled to sit down with Arriana and gain some insight into her impeccable taste for design and imagery, while hearing about her philanthropic work with animal welfare.
"I try to search for the shot that tells somewhat of a story... irony, or someone’s spirit." - Arriana
Who, or what, has influenced your sense of style?
My personal sense of style has evolved over the decades, deriving inspiration from certain members of my family, as well as my passion for the equestrian lifestyle.
My British-born mother, Jackie Bolton Lane, a former actress who starred in Tickle Me with Elvis Presley, did influence my style to some extent. She was known for being extremely glamorous in her Hollywood years, and then continued to be later in life while living in Europe and married to my father, Alfonso.
I, myself, like to balance times of glamour with other moments of wearing sporty attire. Practical equestrian countryside attire would be my preference in the daytime, and for evening occasions, I spontaneously choose an ensemble from my closet. I rarely plan ahead, as I’m confident that in my closet, I have timeless, well-executed and properly fitting pieces that I throw together as I’m dressing, and how I feel at the particular moment.
What are your timeless wardrobe staples?
My Barbour jacket, black velvet hunt cap, Loro Piana cashmere blazer, a black Alaïa cocktail dress and a beautiful Badgley Mischka evening gown.
What does elegance mean to you?
My view of elegance is what is worn on the inside, and less what you see on the outside. To be elegant is how you position yourself throughout life, such as leading with honor, rising above it and always treating others with respect. It is showing concern and an interest in the lives of people, and to have the ability to feel at ease and confident in a variety of settings, countries and cultures.
Which travel destination is the most memorable for you?
Destinations leave me with lasting impressions when I can take pleasure in the landscape, the food and the personality of the locals. Whenever I travel to either the English countryside, or Andalusia, Spain, I never fail to have a wonderful time. (Although the climates of those two places couldn’t possibly be more different, but I am one to love the contrast in life.)
I was born in England, to a British mother, and spent time growing up in London. As such, while in the UK, I love to spend time visiting friends in Gloucestershire. I marvel at the emerald green landscape and vegetation; fields of sheep and horses hacking across the land; and the beauty of extraordinary trees, such as monkey puzzles. The juxtaposition of charming and cozy villages, neighboring stately houses and parks, always peeks my interest; I love observing those contrasts.
Most importantly, both in England and in Spain, I adore spending time with great friends and family that have fabulous humor, and therefore being in their company creates happy memories for me.
In Ronda, Andalusia, my siblings and I share an old country estate and wine vineyard called Las Monjas. It was a retreat of our late father’s, where he escaped the coast of Marbella and his responsibilities at the Marbella Club, a hotel he founded in 1954. At this house, he was an impeccable host, serving delicious food to a fascinating and eclectic group of friends and family. Entertaining was easy and natural for him whether it was royalty or a friend from the local village; his authentic manner in doing so made certain that everyone had a memorable time with lots of laughs.
Where do you find the most fashion inspiration?
I do like Tatler, as the fashion spreads are incredible. Perusing through photography books, such as those shot by Slim Aarons, or Swans, written by Nick Foulkes, are wonderful sources for the glamour of the sixties, seventies and eighties. Those times demonstrated a life very well-lived with timeless style and true elegance. I like to observe what women wore in those decades and then make small adjustments, to avoid running the risk of being demode in our current era.
What are the pieces in your wardrobe you will pass on to your daughter one day?
I have a pale pink chiffon dress with embroidery that once belonged to my mother, designed by Karl Lagerfeld, when he was working for Chloé. I wore it to several parties in France and Germany, and it still remains intact! Fashion has come around, and I believe this bohemian, elegant design could appeal to my daughter.
Depending on Olympia’s height, I would naturally give her my long sleeved and high-necked lace wedding dress, created by Emmanuel Ungaro in 2001. My suspicion is that she would choose something slightly more revealing when she marries!
Arriana pictured with husband, Dixon Boardman.
Share a fond memory from your time in Palm Beach.
Up until a year ago, Palm Beach was a weekend and holiday destination where my husband, daughter and I would travel to from New York, with our dogs and horses always in tow. Often, we would have friends or family to stay, which made for lively and happy weekends, although without much opportunity for quiet mother-daughter time.
A little annual habit was then created for MLK Mondays (Martin Luther King holiday), following the emptying of the household. Olympia and I would spend the afternoon on the beach by the North End, sharing tea sandwiches, swimming, and romping around with our dogs. I would always bring my camera in the event there was a fun shot.
On one of these particular Mondays, I photographed Olympia leaping high into the air, with the ocean behind her and all three of our dogs seemingly mesmerized, gazing up at her. The secret of the photo was that Olympia was clutching a chicken sandwich in her hand, which is what actually captured the dogs’ attention.
Arriana winning the Stake Class at the prestigious Devon Horse Show in 2018.
How did you first get involved with the equestrian sport? What do you love most about it?
In the late seventies, I was living in Marbella, Spain at the Marbella Club. On one of the neighboring undeveloped plots of land, overlooking the Mediterranean, gypsies would bring their horses and give rides in exchange for pesetas. It was at that moment that I absolutely fell in love with the animal and the sport.
I’ve been riding for 42 years, and my heart still skips a beat each day that I go to the stables. I love an animal to be my competition partner, as it teaches one patience, discipline and perseverance – lessons that carry into many walks of life. Over the decades, and while living in America, I have had the privilege to be taught by renowned trainers, namely, Emerson Burr, Karen Healey, Bill Cooney, Pamela Polk, Frank Madden and now by John French.
How did you get involved with equine photography?
Horses are majestic creatures and therefore they’re marvellous subjects to photograph. However, my interests in photography also include lifestyle, portraits, pets and landscapes.
As a visual person, I always had an eye for framing an image and capturing a moment. In 2001, my father gave my brother Hubertus and myself one of the first digital cameras, created by Fujifilm. This propelled me to further explore and take risks with photography. (Whereas, in the non-digital era, I was mindful of the waste from developing undesirable prints.)
While photographing people, I try to search for the shot that tells somewhat of a story, extracting or depicting humor, irony, or someone’s spirit. Of course, I would always try to make a person look their best, while uncovering a layer or two from their façade to capture the essence of that individual.
As a Board Member with the ASPCA, you have been pivotal in bringing more attention to the needs of animal welfare. Tell us more about your role and why this cause is so close to your heart?
I have tremendous concern for mistreated and misunderstood animals, and I’m in awe of what the ASPCA achieves throughout America, acting as the voice for those helpless creatures. As a Board Member and Chair of the Development Committee, it is an honor and my fiduciary responsibility to stay engaged with our current and future donors, making them aware of the impactful initiatives that the organization is implementing.
The ASPCA combats animal cruelty cases in the farm animal industries, dog fighting rings, puppy mills, hoarding cases, and in the slaughter of horses. Animal homelessness issues are resolved through rescue, protection and placement strategies; within that division, the ASPCA has erected an enormous Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina, Community Veterinary Centers in major cities and the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and Adoption Center in Manhattan.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in life?
To always try to focus on the bigger picture.
Arriana serves as Chair of the Development Committee of the ASPCA.
Movie Roman Holiday
Actress Natalie Portman
Book The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts
Art Piece A portrait of my late horse, Gatsby, by Susan Crawford
Song La Vida by Gipsy Kings
Scent Casa de Pilatos by Duquesa de Medinaceli
Restaurant Marbella Club Grill
Wine Cheval Blanc
Style Icon Jackie Kennedy
Images courtesy of Arriana Hohenlohe Boardman