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INTERVIEW: Anita Tilly, eco-fashion designer
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21 March 2015
Anita Tilly is the heart and soul of Ymani Tilly—a women's eco-fashion brand that's about to launch its first collection. Here's Anita's take on what inspires her life and work.
Anita, when did you realize your calling was to become a fashion designer?
ANITA TILLY: I have always loved creativity and fashion, but the real decision came just two and a half years ago.
My mother has had a huge part to play in this. I used to watch her make dresses for my sister and me. As I got older, I could participate more and more in the process. So for ten years already I have been making clothes for myself and my friends.
I made up my mind to become a professional designer during my Transcendental Meditation Sidhi course when a friend of mine encouraged me to take this passion to the next level. So, I started a BA program in Fashion Design.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
ANITA TILLY: Everywhere! Anything that catch my eyes during the day. Something on the Internet: pictures, colours, music, and garments from the catwalk. Anything in nature: a fallen leaf, the interesting architecture of a building, or a woman on the street.
Sometimes, I like to just listen to music and let the rhythm and feeling of the song drive my hand.
I like to design apparel that I would wear myself—elegant, classic, and modern, yet very comfortable. I want to create clothes that women can wear and enjoy every day!
Your goal with Ymani Tilly is to offer not just beautiful but also ecologically and socially responsible garments. Who are the people or what are the events in your life that have directed you on that beautiful path?
ANITA TILLY: I have always wanted to help and work in harmony with nature. I can think of two persons who are responsible for this. The first one is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who inspired me to be good to myself and to others. When I heard him talk about how ethically sourced clothing is important, I knew immediately what I had to do.
The second person is my mother. She always gave me so much love, really an overpowering amount of love! And now, I feel this is what drives me. I want everyone to get this beautiful and innocent love that I received.
With my project I can accomplish this wonderful task. I can provide healthy clothing and support nature at the same time. Part of the proceedings of Ymani Tilly will also go for charity.
What role has Transcendental Meditation played in your life and in your creation?
ANITA TILLY: I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique five years ago. I loved it from the first practice, and I still love it. It gives me self-confidence, energy, happiness, and creativity. After a few times of practicing TM, I started to see myself differently. I looked at myself with more positivity. I had better ideas and better performance.
After I completed the TM-Sidhi course, I started to have more creative thoughts; I started to draw, which was a big thing for me because I thought I could not draw, and this had blocked me from learning design earlier. But after the course, it just kept coming.
I wouldn't say I'm perfect, but I am absolutely much better than before. I am very happy to see how an idea becomes a drawing on paper, and then materializes, and I can wear it.
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