We have long been enamored with Love Aesthetics' Ivania Carpio, the Dutch blogger whose signature whited-out color palette and minimalist sensibility have made her an internationally-recognized and respected voice in fashion blogging. Amid her smart observations and posts on style, home DIY, and beauty, it seems there is nothing Ivania can't put her own uniquely clean, simple, and clever spin on; her cooly minimalist aesthetic is a palette cleanser amid the noise of fashion.
We teamed up with Ivania for a three-part blog collaboration that touches on different areas of her expertise: a minimalist nail art project; a copper and leather home DIY; and below, an exclusive interview that explores more about her thoughts on style, living with less, and finding inspiration in the everyday.
On paring down and personal style:
It seems that your style is less about wearing one color and more about taking the time to discover possibilities that can come from restrictions: texture, detail, and clothing taking on the personality of the wearer. Can you talk to us about the freedoms that come from this type of limitation?
Exactly, it is very liberating. I can almost pick an outfit in the morning with my eyes closed, in a monochromatic wardrobe everything works well together. One of the things I appreciate most about fashion and clothes is the craftsmanship and the way things are made. On a garment without a print or color all attention goes to these details; the fit and tailoring, the kind of seams, the texture of the fabric. Non-colors are always relevant, always fresh. You can get tired of a purple shirt after wearing it three times; a white shirt, however, never gets old. It is so neutral that it adapts to the occasion and the mood. It becomes more about the wearer.
Do you feel like having an outlet like Love Aesthetics — and especially maintaining it for so long — has helped shape your style and outlook?
Perhaps it has. When you blog you are really documenting and writing about daily things like "why am I wearing this outfit" which you would otherwise not think about so much.
You've mentioned how you consider the simple white t-shirt to be the most classic clothing piece. What are some other pieces you consider timeless?
The white tee is the only true timeless piece I can think of. If you take jeans for example, you could still tell from the fit (highwaisted, low waisted, flared legs, skinny legs) or wash from which era they are. Other clothing items have much more details and room for variations. But from a plain white T-shirt you could really not tell if it is from the 1950s or 2014. It has proved it never looks dated.
Can you share any embarrassing fashion phases from your past?
I love to go thrifting, shop at vintage markets and secondhand boutiques, spending my free Saturday nights on Ebay. I have a lot of love for the late eighties and early nineties. I would go to college in head to toe 1980s vintage and deliberately wear all the "wrong" things from that decade; including hair and make up. Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead
is one of my favorites movies, so "'80s career woman" like Christina Applegate in that movie was often a theme. Every morning felt like getting ready for a dress-up party.On sources of inspiration:We are intrigued by an old blog post of yours where you describe a recent "mood board," which consists of marbled paper, three mints, clear clothes hangers, and a small glass container. What objects, shapes, or details have been interesting to you lately?
Broken objects, fragments of mirrors and glass. But I’m also still obsessed about disposables, which I’ve been collecting for years. Clear soda cans from a Chinese supermarket, old CDs, strange plastic disposable forks, "patatbakjes"; white plastic boxes in which they serve fries here in The Netherlands.Who are some of your favorite artists and photographers?
I admire Dieter Rams and Yohji Yamamoto for their philosophy and approach to designing. But then I also have to mention my boyfriend Romeo Pokomasse; it’s been fantastic to see his photography skills develop and grow from up close.Will you share some recent sources of inspiration or interest?What are you reading:
recently re-subscribed to the newspaperWatching:
don’t own a TVThinking About:
Akkord and Gazelle TwinCooking:
vegan spring rollsOn your life and routine:Can you share a bit about your background—where you are from and what your upbringing was like?
My mom was a diplomat, so until I was 10 we lived in different parts of Latin America. She was also a hippie, so we weren’t allowed any Nintendos or anything with an army/camouflage print. We were brought up in a very free and open-minded way. When we moved back to The Netherlands in 1998 it was like finally coming home, there was a lot more freedom here. It also meant I didn’t have to wear a uniform to school anymore, so at that time I started to pick my own clothes for the first time in my life too. The only kind of "getting dressed" I knew from before was on non-school days; which involved a mix of my own clothes, my mom’s vintage and kids costumes. So when starting school in The Netherlands, I wore just that and because there were no uniform requirements anymore I also started cutting and painting my own hair. Mom didn’t interfere, sometimes it looked ridiculous, sometimes it looked fantastic.Can you walk us through a day-in-the life? What is your daily routine?
I try to get up before everyone else does to squeeze in a run. Then I wake up my kid and bike her to school. After that my workday begins. I love the workspace that I share with my boyfriend Romeo; it’s light, empty and has a concrete floor with lots of (white) paint splatters. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work together, it’s like a family business. Lois likes to come and hang out with us too. It can be a day behind the computer, the sewing machine, at the hardware store, behind the camera, in front of the camera, at meetings or attending events or just behind a big piece of paper with a pencil. Besides collaborations I’m currently working on building a label from Love Aesthetics, which is very scary but exciting. It’s hard to describe to people what I do, because it varies so much; besides Love Aesthetics -which is my main gig- I also work on art direction, design, and consulting assignments and am also a weekly contributor to Dutch Vogue online. But I like being busy. What would you wear, right now if you were going:For a walk around your neighborhood…
White tee + white shorts + some kind of outerwear tied around my waistFor an early evening cocktail at a new spot...
Long black dress with slits on the side and open back + nike air max trainersFor an afternoon of mind-numbing errands...
silky white turtleneck tank top + vintage Adidas running shorts + nike air max + white leather backpackFor a lunch with an old friend…
slipdress + floorlength coat + trainersFor a trip to the museum...
Asymmetric white leather top that I made + culottes + pool slides