Between her incredible creativity, her grounded spirit and her flawless style, Torin Ashtun is one of the most inspiring women around. An artist, author (her graphic novel, The Art of Captivating, tells the story of her childhood growing up in a homeless shelter) and increasingly occasional model, she lives in Long Beach, L.A., where she was born and raised - and she can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Here, she styles her favourite Rat & Boa pieces her way and tells us about how her art helps her process the most challenging moments in her life, what keeps her calm and centred and why getting dressed is her favourite way of showing who she really is.
I used to be nervous because I felt that my style was unique but not in a positive way so I would just dress up and wear the clothes that I really loved around my house. But getting dressed has always been my favourite way of expressing myself...it’s what people see first, whatever you’re wearing, it’s what people see from across the street and I think it’s the best way to show my personality and how I’m feeling that day.
Growing up I was always shopping at thrift stores, at first through necessity and then because I liked it a lot. I love pieces that are timeless, that I can wear now, that someone wore ten years ago and I’m probably going to wear in a couple of years as well. I also make pieces - I often get clothes then tailor them to fit me in a particular way.
Art has always been in me. Growing up, my whole family was creative in some way, everyone was sewing, dying their own hair, doing amazing drawings, there was always art around me… and in a really interesting way, because there wasn’t a lot of money so they were just making things out of whatever we had. That truly inspired the way that I am right now, going after my dreams and living and creating so fully.
I live a very calm lifestyle, I meditate every morning, I pray and I just got into doing yoga. I love to be in silence and be with my own thoughts and process them. I grew up around a very chaotic situation so I was always the one looking to be calm, looking to calm everyone else down. Now you’re alway going to find me meditating, sitting quietly and reading a book or going for long walks.
Being creative is how I deal with things; it could be the most traumatic moment in my life and I always take time to go and create something, the moment it happens. It’s just something that’s in me, it’s probably a part of my survival mode. It’s so powerful…it reminds me that I’m so much more than the situation that I’ve been in, that I’m never defined by it and then it just feels good to know that I can complete something while everything around me is so hard.
I love nature, I just love to be away from cities in complete silence, so I’m happy anywhere that can give me that...just to see super tall trees and new people, new faces, a new environment, that’s what I love, just seeing something outside of what I’m so used to.
The dresses are so beautiful and the way that they’re cut and accentuate my body is so beautiful.The pieces I have are so eye-catching, the colours are so vibrant and the patterns are so pretty.
Being a woman is...like being a powerful shapeshifter who can balance masculine and feminine energy.
Most precious possession...I only have one photo of my nana who passed. It’s of me and her, when I was a little baby.
Style is...a way to express yourself, be your honest self, your authentic self.
Favourite dress...The Harlequin dress in orange.Shop Torin’s Edit
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