A conversation with Lauren Ardis

There is something about California girls. I just can't stop finding them so alluring these days. They are my definition of cool. Their style is always spot on and effortless. They look like a modern depiction of Venus with their natural beauty.I bet their breath smells like sage and their hair like palo santo mixed with Aesop. Lauren Ardis is one of them. She is the owner of the beautiful online shop called mono-ha, that is specialized in selling one-of-a-kind pieces for women and the home. This is a small conversation we had.

Can you please describe your personal style?

I am drawn to pieces that can serve a multitude of functions and can transition seasonally. I almost only wear black with occasional neutrals. I look for pieces that will age beautifully, are made of good quality materials, have an interesting texture or subtle detail, and that feel easy and comfortable. I also need clothes to have a slightly unpolished feel to them. I don’t like to feel too put together or done-up.

Tell us more about your beautiful, recently opened store. What is the concept behind it?

Mono-ha is a web shop that offers seasonally selected pieces for women, as well as home objects. Soon I am going to be offering ceramics made just for the shop, as well as the sculpture of my friend Sandra Ono. The idea to open my own shop started forming about 5 years ago. I have been thrifting since middle school, and from an early age started getting the bulk of my wardrobe second-hand. I want to show women that vintage is not just for costume parties, but that it is possible to build a modern wardrobe without resorting to fast fashion or buying pieces you can’t afford. Rotating the collection seasonally keeps the shop feeling fresh and allows me to add a more conceptual component to basic shopping needs. I just launched a summer collection that is centered around a very muted color story, with most of the materials being linen or silk. Each piece can also easily be brought into fall or another season. 

I own several navy sweaters.What are the items you tend to buy in duplicate?

I tend to not buy in excess mostly because I utilize half of my closet for storing vintage, but I own about 10 black over-sized tops or shift dresses. When I’m shopping for the store, I can’t ever resist buying studio or art class ceramics that have been thrown out as failed experiments.

What are the pieces we will never find in your closet?

Anything sparkly, floral, or colorful. I have a really hard time dressing for wedding showers.

What currently inspires you?

Fabric movement, particularly silk in the wind. Yoko Ono’s piece “Three Spoons.” Georgia O’Keeffe’s objects in her Abiquiu home. Nude, sheer fabrics paired with silver. Fripp & Eno’s album Evening Star. Always- Japanese aesthetics and the work of Eva Hesse.

Can you please tell us a little about your philosophy on beauty, style and well being. Do you work out? Do you tend to eat healthy? What are your favorite beauty products?

As far as well-being goes, I think it’s important that we all do our best to live naturally and as healthy as possible, but to keep in mind that the stress of this can sometimes be worse for us than the benefit. I’ve gone through some health changes since I was a teenager and believe that moderation and listening to your body is really the most crucial element in maintaining health. I am a huge believer in supplements and herbs - I swear by turmeric, especially. I try and go for long walks in the hills and attempt to do Ballet Beautiful at home in the privacy of my own living room. I’m pretty intimidated by gyms and public exercise. For beauty I love Dr. Bronner’s, Embryolisse, RMS makeup, and Rodin Face Oil, but I’m truthfully not rigid about any of my routines. 

Photos credits: Michelle Cho | Lauren Ardis

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