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Tasha Tilberg – spring/summer 2019
Tasha wears all clothes A|X Armani Exchange SS19, earring worn throughout Tasha’s ownPhotography Suffo Moncloa, Styling Vittoria Cerciello

Talking cult films, cult models and actual cults with Tasha Tilberg

A catwalk regular in the 90s, the model returns after a long hiatus from fashion, on the pages of our spring/summer 2019 issue

Having spent the last few years making her middle-of-nowhere farmhouse a home – switching fashion shows and photoshoots for fruit-picking and family time alongside wife Laura and twins Bowie and Gray – cult 90s model Tasha Tilberg is back on the scene.

After fronting a campaign for Acne Studios with her family last year, Tilberg landed on the runways of Proenza Schouler, Victoria Beckham, and Stella McCartney (to name but a few) during the SS19 season. Now, the iconic Canadian makes an appearance within the pages of our spring/summer issue, styled by Vittoria Cerciello and lensed by Suffo Moncloa.

Here, as the editorial launches online, we sit down with Tilberg to talk all things cult, as she fills us in on what the word means to her, her favourite cult film and what her cult would be about were she to start one.

What does the word cult mean to you?

Tasha Tilberg: When I think of the word ‘cult’ so many things come to mind. Cult is very much about subculture, or counterculture: a certain segment of society that’s attracted and drawn to a particular thing. Fringe dwellers, or people wanting to escape their mundane lives maybe, who are attracted for unknown reasons. Maybe it’s a way to belong to something, or for people to break the boundaries and restrictions of their lives, finding freedom outside the ‘normal’ or the path that’s expected.

Why do you think you’re a cult model?

Tasha Tilberg: I can’t say I ever really considered myself a cult model, but upon reflection I can see why I might fit that description. I took my own path, I was probably a bit of a fringe dweller. I’ve pushed boundaries, or refused them, and have never fit into what the mainstream would define as ‘normal’.

Who did you think of as having cult status when you were growing up?

Tasha Tilberg: I think Shalom Harlow for me was one, along with Kirsten Owen, Sibyl Buck, and Stella Tennant. I looked up to these women as interesting individuals with personalities, that were seen in images that reflected their creativity.

What’s your favourite cult film?  

Tasha Tilberg: My fave cult film is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I watched it ritually growing up, It’s dark and twisted, and Tim Curry in his outfits was divine. I love him!

What about your favourite cult designer?

Tasha Tillberg: Jean-Paul Gaultier. I think he is an incredible artist who pushes himself outside of the ‘normal’ reflections of society. He pushes boundaries and yet keeps impeccable artistry and tailoring within his work. His casting promoted diversity years before all the others, and his visionary leadership makes him my number one.

And your fave cult song?  

Tasha Tillberg: Bela Lugosi's Dead”, by Bauhaus.

If you were to start a cult, what would you centre it around, and what would your policies be?  

Tasha Tillberg: I’d probably start with a dress code: my friend Alana said I dressed like an Amish Goth. I like that, it seems right for me.  But I would never dictate of course. So... I think my cult would involve a land-based group eschewing electricity, and kind of harmonising with the land and each other. Living off it and growing what they needed, but there would be lots of open communication as well as manual labour (which makes one feel alive) and musical and artistic expression. Drum circles and incense and fire sticks and flowers. Finding space to thrive and creating harmony. A cult seeking utopia.

Who’s your favourite cult model right now?

Tasha Tillberg: I think Maggie Maurer, Achok Majak, Erika Linder and Dilone.

You’ve landed back in fashion after quite some time away. How has the industry changed in that time?

Tasha Tillberg: I think the fashion industry has changed in some subtle and some major ways. I think in some circles there was always incredible freedom and artistic expression, but I think it has also bled into the mainstream as well now. There is so much more diversity than when I started, it's really about time. I hope it’ll only get better. The age of computers and the internet and Instagram has profoundly changed the way pictures are made, and a much larger audience has access to the industry. The flip side, of course, is the attention span of that audience, and how fast things move.

Many people don’t get the printed version of magazines and really miss out on the feel of paper in their hands and the articles that are written. From pictures to clothing, humanity is leaping and bounding. There are many photographers, including Sufo, who shot this editorial, who are only shooting film, relying on technique and inspiration and hope that what they envisioned would be captured. It's a mysterious and exciting way to work.

Hair Marco Braca at Atomo Management, make-up Luciano Chiarello at Atomo Management, model Tasha Tilberg at Marilyn Model Management, photography assistant Gabriele Loda, styling assistant Francesca Donnarumma, casting Noah Shelley at Management + Artists