When you’ve grown up with two opposing cultures, where does one end and the other begin?
It doesn’t - but most of us have been compartmentalising ourselves for as long as we can remember. I know for a fact that there is a version of myself that I play at home, a "good" Bengali Muslim girl who has been taught not to stray from a specific set of ideals. And then, there’s the “outside” me, a woman who has grown up in Australia who wants to challenge what she's been taught at home - everything starting from the clothes she's been told to wear.
We know why we separate these two versions of ourselves - especially those of us who have grown up in conservative households. Sometimes it's easier to just internalise our struggles, hide who we really are in order to keep the peace at home. But don't you wish there was a space where we wouldn’t have to be torn between two ideals?
I created TTL so I could explore the intersections of my two cultures, my two identities - instead of constantly denying one or the other. It's my version of the traditional culture I thought I had to accept, before I realised in order to live authentically, I had to create my own version of "traditional". Each design is a love letter to the girl who grew up with many differing influences to show her how beautiful the result can be if they existed in harmony.
TTL goes deeper than just clothes. My hope is that I can bring together a community of people who have grown up with similar experiences and empower them with the knowledge that they are not alone in wanting to break the vicious cycle of living for an older generation.
Let’s see how it goes... we’ll deal with the consequences later if the aunties find out ;)