This week Christian Chensvold of Ivy Style received a tip from an unnamed source concerning the identity of the person responsible for the pretentious Richard character of WASP 101. Following clues gleaned from postings at WASP 101, the source claims that Richard is actually Rep. Bryan Richard Holloway (R), a five-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Holloway’s 91st district is a largely rural area of farmers, blue collar workers and NASCAR races.
For those of you not familiar with WASP 101, it was a much maligned personal blog devoted to what Richard perceived as the manners, taste and lifestyle of the upper class. He frequently posted images of himself wearing clothing that he thought suited to the landed gentry. Apparently, Richard viewed himself as a gentleman and member of the leisure class, but this was clearly a fantasy. The clothing combinations he posted were, in my opinion, ill-fitting affectations and signified the desperate longings of a social climber who was too incompetent to pull off even a passable act. In fact, many bloggers have commented that they first thought WASP 101 was conceived as a satire and were disappointed to learn that it was in ernest.
One could take most of WASP 101, for Richard sometimes got things right, as an important source of what not to do for those looking to better themselves by improving their appearance. Unfortunately, the WASP 101 site was deleted shortly after Chensvold’s post suggesting the Holloway connection. Observers have taken this key point along with other clues on the possible Holloway/WASP 101 connection – physical resemblance (at least the chin), shared name Richard, same birthday, same pet dachshund named Governor and a striking similarity in clothing- as conclusive proof.
If you read Chensvold’s linked post above and his follow up, the evidence does seem fairly strong that Holloway is Richard of WASP 101. Should this prove to be true, it will be up to the voters of the 91st district to decide whether their current representative, a man with strong upper class pretensions, a passion for men’s clothing and a fondness for posting images of WASPY women he deems desirable, should be reelected. Maybe he could survive these revelations. But more troubling is that Holloway is a married man. If he, as Richard, was making the WASPY women postings, that could be more problematic for the “God fearing” voters of his district. Even more potentially troubling: Chensvold’s source suggests that Holloway’s administrative assistant was the female “Kipp” character of WASP 101. That in itself would be innocent unless there was more of a John Edwards or Mark Sanford dynamic at work. Imagine the derision that would ensue.
I have to say that I am disappointed that WASP 101 was taken down. Along with many other people, I have more than once been amused by what Richard took to be the essence of good taste. But I do not revel in a man’s misfortune. If it is true that Bryan Richard Holloway finds his career ruined or his personal life distrupted over a fantasy world he created on a personal blog, that would make me sad. It is also a bit troubling – and amusing at the same time – that someone could so despise a blogger or his pompous behavior or his bad judgment in clothing that he would make it a personal mission to uncover his identity. This much can be said with certainty: never post anything on the internet that you would not want connected with you in the future.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post, I stated that Christian Chensvold had been contacted by an unnamed New York fashion writer regarding the identity of Richard at WASP 101. That was incorrect. I should have stated that he was contacted by an unnamed source. I have revised my text above accordingly.