An Interview with Yogi – and Couture Designer, Coltrane Lord.
Yoga Simple is all about sharing ideas about how to better live your practice outside the yoga studio. So when we hear of fellow yogis bringing their practice into their business as a way to inspire others, we want to learn more.
For over 10 years, Coltrane Lord has also been designing custom couture clothing that bring out each woman’s individual personality and style — as well as dabbling in photography that aims to do the same.
Now, she’s bringing zen from her yoga studio to her creative fashion house. The result? Peace and empowerment for women.
Q: Can you explain your philosophy behind integrating yoga principals into women’s clothing? And how that evolved?
In the fashion business, many women are bombarded with what an “ideal” body shape, size, and weight should be. It can be very discouraging.
Just like yoga, where you practice is perfect where you are today, I encourage women to honor themselves now. Instead of trying to fit into the world of standardized beauty, I believe they should love the body they are in at this moment. I believe we should accept that constant journey towards self-improvement — another yoga concept.
I try to incorporate yoga and eastern philosophy into my work by making the process of my designs therapeutic in a way. I provide tools for positive self image and create the garment with my client’s desires in mind.
Q: What is your process in working with each woman?
When I work with a client, I first try to understand what her desires are, and her limitations. I try to find an empowering image, archetype, goddess, or avatar that she relates to and finds strength from. I want to know what moves her and what she fears. Even if we are designing for a specific event, she always has a feeling and idea of what she wants to project in mind.
From there I have a deeper understanding of her, and we can create an outfit that expresses her most intimate desires. I once did a cocktail dress for a woman who was desperate to get pregnant. She was interested in motherhood, children, family, legacy and so much more. I incorporated these words on lavender ribbon and then sew them into the hem of the skirt.
Q: Can you give us a few examples of empowerment desires? And a few questions that any woman can ask themselves to develop their own mantra that they can sew (or otherwise incorporate) into their own clothing?
Empowerment desires can be as simple as I want to find a boyfriend or a new job — to more complex desires as finding self worth and self love. For most women, desires are hard to pin down because we are often focused on what we don’t like.
I encourage my clients to think about what pulls them forward, what they dream about doing or having no matter how outrageous the idea, what makes them smile, what makes them laugh, what their life would look like if they had all the money in the world and the connections to create it.
If you can’t sew your own mantras into your outfits, you can simple name each piece of clothing with an empowering word or phrase. Your little black dress could be called the “Pleasure”, your pencil skirt can be called the “Creative Abundance,” your formal gown, the “Divine Essence,” and your jeans, “Authenticity.” You can always use a sharpie at the hem!
Q: Finally, what is your favorite asana and why?
Savasana for sure. I love it because it feels good, is so easy, and I do it well. The other one is Salamba Sirsasana (supported headstand), because I’m really bad at it and I’m still waiting for it to feel good.
To read more about Coltrane Lord and where she’s finding her latest inspiration, you can visit her blog at: www.lordcoltrane.com/blog.7