Ivania Carpio is the serious-looking girl with searing blue eyes and dyed grey hair behind LOVE AESTHETICS. Her clean, monochromatic outfits are like a palate cleanser amongst the noisy pattern clashing and conspicuous consumption that have come to define fashion blogs.
Carpio’s coolly minimalist aesthetics have captured the attention of everyone from Nick Knight to Nasty Gal, owing in large part to her clean and simple DIY projects, which usually involve at least one trip to the hardware store. Carpio is an expert at fashioning insulating foil into space age-looking skirts, and repurposing old plastic VHS cases into clutch handbags. She has used her obsession with Perspex to make everything from a pair of drop earrings to her own side table out of the clear acrylic plastic.
In 2011, she wore the same dress every day for an entire month to combat the disposability of cheap clothes. Carpio is a culture warrior who uses simplicity to fight against the planned obsolescence of our wardrobes.
I asked Ivania some questions about minimalism, and how she applies it to her style and every day life.
Have you always dressed in a fairly simple way?
If I look back, yes, I have always dressed very simple. I have always loved simple white unprinted tees for example. During my 1980s obsession I would wear a lot of accessories. I still love accessories, but I now know I don’t have to wear them all at the same time, haha.
Do you consider your style to be minimalist?
I wouldn’t dare to call myself that! Although I still consume less than most people (rarely go shopping, buy lots of secondhand, try to invest in long lasting pieces, am almost vegan) and we have less furniture in our home than most people, I dislike decadence and things without a function… I still think I consume and buy too much to really be a true minimalist.
What constitutes minimalist style?
It is about the essence of things, some designers put aesthetics in the first place and some designers approach it in a form follows function kind of way.
How do you make your style unique while maintaining its simplicity?
I don’t really think about it. I guess working with shapes, layers, and the occasional odd accessory.
Do you think minimal dressing is at all related to growing up, becoming an adult?
Yes, very much. I finally have no more desire to experiment or change my style. These clothes are very close to my identity and what I stand for. I feel very much myself in them.
Why do you think so many designers nowadays are gravitating towards minimalism?
I think, and this is just what I think, that people are noticing that fast fashion is not sustainable. Trends that change every season make no sense; there is no appreciation for craftsmanship or design; everything is disposable -like Yohji Yamamoto says– like toilet paper.
Cleaner styles, with less seasonal embellishment, basic pieces, are more timeless. And I think that people are at a stage where they want to invest in clothes that will last more than a season.
On this note, what are some of your favourite recent designer collections?
I really like what Proenza Schouler has been doing for the past couple of seasons.
What are you favourite items in your wardrobe?
Do you have an all-time favourite DIY?
Not really, I love all my brain children! It’s very rewarding to wear something you’ve made yourself. But I like the technique I discovered while making the clear cuffs I made two years ago, also wearing the VHS video case a lot.
What does minimalism mean to you?
I apply it to every aspect of my life.All images: Love Aesthetics
Isabel Slone is a Toronto-based fashion blogger and writer. Follow her on Twitter at @isabelslone.