Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The World is A Changing

I have been a fan of Canadian model Tasha Tilberg's brand of perplexing beauty ever since I saw her on the cover of the November 1996 issue of W Magazine photographed by Michael Thompson alongside model Sharon van der Knaap. Perplexing I say, because Tilberg literally has the face of an angel. Cherubic in shape with turquoise blue eyes and a puckered heart-shaped mouth. Over the years, Tilberg's look has evolved; she has gone through more hairstyle changes than Linda Evangelista and has adorned her body with a myriad of tattoos and piercings, all the whilst carving a reputation in the industry as a true character model. I was therefore delighted to see Tilberg photographed recently by Cass Bird for Oyster Magazine's All Woman Issue. In the editorial and on Cass Bird's tumblr page, Tilberg appears in her most beautiful state as an expectant mother

Mother Nature - Tasha Tilberg
Oyster Magazine - Issue 99
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - models.com

Oyster Magazine - Issue 99
Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - models.com

Photographer - Cass Bird
Source - cassbird.tumblr.com

Tilberg began modelling at age fourteen, when she approached a modelling agency in Toronto and was signed on the spot. Tilberg modelled locally for a year, working towards building up a portfolio before relocating to New York. Tilberg's ascent up the modelling ladder was rapid with the newcomer scoring her first major cover for W Magazine at age sixteen and making her runway debut at the Fall/Winter 97 collections in Paris. Throughout her career, Tilberg has been a staple editorial model for Paris Vogue, W, British Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Italia and i-D amongst others, and has landed numerous blue chip campaigns including Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, DKNY and Cover Girl cosmetics. Speaking with Focus onto Film, Tilberg acknowledges the many changes that she has seen the modelling industry go through since she started, "Now it's much more of a business. I think there are a lot more girls now and less money, so there's more competition. Back then you were looked at as an individual rather than as just one of the girls, and the rates were insanely high. They also used to focus on personality and every job was fun."

Tilburg's own evolution has proven to be as pertinent a topic and has been an instrumental factor to her longevity in the modelling industry. In 1997, Tilburg retreated from modelling to experience life and to explore other interests. When Tilburg returned to the industry in 2000, she did so on her own terms, embarking on a makeover that included piercing her septum, shearing her hair into a razor sharp bob and adding several tattoos to more visible parts of her body such as her arms and hands. Tilburg reveals to shewired.com "I needed to express the freedom of my own body. I didn't want to be a blank canvas for somebody else. I wanted to own myself and to say, 'This is me. If you want me, fine."

Tasha Tilberg & Sharon Van der Knaap
W Magazine - November 1996
Photographer - Michael Thompson
Source - thefashionspot.com

Tasha Tilberg, Danielle Zinaich, Georgina Grenville,
Chandra North & Sharon Van der Knaap
US Harpers Bazaar - May 1997
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - thefashionspot.com

W Magazine - February 2001
Photographer - Craig McDean
Source - thefashionspot.com

Nylon - April 2002
Photographer - Nick Haymes
Source - thefashionspot.com

i-D Magazine - June 2009
Photographer - Kayt Jones
Source - nymag.com

Tilburg is feted by the fashion industry's elite as much for her looks as for her individuality and clear sense of self. Tilburg's numerous piercings and tattoos are often featured prominently in her editorial appearances adding an extra dimension of interest to her arsenal. Tilburg's favourite image of herself is an i-D cover shot by Kayt Jones, in which she sports a nose ring with a tattoo emblazoned on her shoulder. Tilburg reveals to Focus onto Film, "I did the shoot topless and that vulnerability comes across but also strength behind it. Kayt's not a voyeur, she just captures the spirit which is really cool. It has an authenticity to it, which is rare, because I often like to pretend I'm someone else, a character, if I feel vulnerable."

In 2010, Tilburg married her long-time partner Laura Wilson and is currently expecting their first child. As one of the few openly gay models, Tilburg downplays the influence that she might have had on enabling other models to come out revealing to Focus onto Film, "I think in general society are more free to be out now. Like we have Gay/Straight Alliances in high school which we didn't have back then. Gay kids were more of the outcast then. I was definitely an outcast and I'm used to that role, but now in society, we're going forward, leaps and bounds and embracing the diversity of people."

Paris Vogue - December 2000
Photographer - Tom Munro
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Harpers Bazaar - March 2001
Photographer - Craig McDean
Source - nymag.com

Paris Vogue - September 2001
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - nymag.com

W Magazine - March 2012
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - nymag.com

V Magazine - Issue 39
Photographer - Terry Tsiolis
Source - thefashionspot.com

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