Passion for Fashion

 

Written by Amy Dee Stephens in the September 2018 Issue

Passion for Fashion

 

Passion for Fashion

Ivan Caro was recently captivated by the beauty of a metallic green beetle laying in the parking lot—not because he likes bugs, but because he was attracted to the color. “When I looked closely, I was blown away that something from nature was so visually stunning.” 

Caro is now sketching dress designs based on his exploration of beetles. He’s in the early stages of brainstorming, and he’s looking at bugs in a whole new way. “I’ve fallen in love with the aesthetics of beetles--the different curves and shapes. They emit a certain emotion, vibe and style.” 

Although it’s too soon to reveal his ideas, Caro hinted that his interest in 

a collection of beetle-inspired clothing lies at different ends of the color spectrum. He loves the iridescence of the metallic beetles, but is equally fascinated by the black rhino beetle, whose texture reminds him of a black vinyl material. 

It’s a glimpse into the mind of a wildly creative artist who is a graphic designer by day and a fashion designer in his free time. “I was one of those little kids who was born artistic,” Caro said. “Even before I was in kindergarten, I’d make a drawing and then put playdough on top of the paper to sculpt the drawing into 3-D.” 

For Caro, designing a garment is a 3-D process as well, because he thinks in terms of “constructing” the shape and drape of fabric. “That comes from my mother because she wanted to be a dressmaker. She used to take apart my grandmother’s clothes to see how they were made. I used to watch her deconstruct garments and reuse the fabric for other things. In my mind, I would start building my own versions. I even made my own Halloween costumes.” 

Caro spent his earliest years in Mexico, but moved to Oklahoma City during elementary school. After finishing high school, he graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in graphic design. He is now a full-time designer for Saxum, where he loves overseeing the creative branding requests of his clients. His latest fashion client, however, was his younger sister, who challenged him to design her prom dress--a pink, flowy confection with an outer layer and cape made of sheer fabric. Not only did he achieve her approval, he is currently creating a documentary video of the process.

His best-known dress design is a period piece inspired by Renaissance royalty. “I’m part of a collective of photographers and videographers who create fashion photography projects, called Blackout Co.,” Caro said. “After we decided on the time period, I did research on fashions from the 1400s. After making sketches, we selected a professional model so that I could construct the dress based on her measurements.” The final dress is made of metallic gold lace with a black tulle skirt.

It’s easy to imagine Caro pinning such elegant fabric together in a fancy 

modern studio, but he actually uses his living room or his parents’ larger living room. During the final construction stages, his excitement spurs him forward to the point that he loses track of time, staying up all night.  

Although his fashion skills are self-taught, he has presented several fashion illustration classes at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. “I wish, growing up, I had been able to take something like that,” Caro said. “At some point, I see myself going to formal fashion school, not to change careers, but to enhance the direction of my art and creativity. I clearly have a passion for fashion. I don’t know where I’m headed, or even what will come from my beetle inspiration, but if the end result inspires one person, I will feel fulfilled.”

For more information, go to www.ivancaro.com

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