Sunday, July 10, 2011

extra extra read all about it

another race day in our beautiful country. another day of high fashion, riches being blown and those huge animals running around in a circle.
The Durban July.

Now, this isn't about the day, or what the clothing was like . . . because I wasn't there.
This is to announce what fantastic young designers South Africa, and Cape Town, is producing.

I am very lucky to know the winner of the Vodacom Durban July Young Designers Award this year, and was able to grab a quick interview.

T a m a r a   C h e r i e   D y s o n
tell me a lil bit about yourself . . .

where is hometown for you?

I was born in Graaf Reinette (don’t judge ;p) and grew up in the small town of Port Elizabeth. I had the 'big-city syndrome' and couldn't wait to move out of PE as soon as possible and make my dreams come true.

One word to describe yourself?

If I had to describe my design style in one word, it would have to be 'structure' - in either cut, fabric or design.

favourite item in your wardrobe?

Probably one of my favourite items of clothing in my wardrobe right now is one of my fully beaded/sequined dresses from London! It is a tough decision though, because as my friends all know, I have an entire storeroom filled with boxes of clothes - I'm such a hoarder!

fashion icons/favourite designers?

I don’t really have fashion/style icons, but the fashion houses that inspire me the most are Celine, Chloe, and Givenchy.

you're a student: where are you absorbing the knowledge from?

I currently study at Design Academy of Fashion DAF, where I absolutely love going to college everyday! The friendly atmosphere and awesome classmates totally cancels out the stress of the workload ;p

when did you realise that you had a love for fashion design?

Throughout school, I was always top of my class in my art classes, and won many awards, thus I thought my destiny was become an artist, you know, like the struggling sidewalk painter in 'Merry Poppins' LOL. At high school, doing academic art everyday, I really excelled in the subject, but eventually lost my passion for art. It became more of a chore than what once was a love affair.

I became Interested in Fashion Design in about Grade 10, and I guess that was that.

working life?

I took a gap year in London which truly opened my eyes to the bigger picture. I worked in retail for a British label, Reiss – absolutely beautiful garments, absolutely crap salary LOL

I then went on to Australia for 3 months to stay with my then boyfriend, where I really found myself.

I've worked backstage at Cape Town Fashion Week under Deon Redman and learnt a lot about what goes on when the curtains are drawn.

okay, so let's talk Vodacom Durban July, Young Designers Award.

on the durban july runway ramp

what was your design inspired by?

My design was mostly inspired by this amazing country we live in. I focused on the colours, shapes and symbols synonymous with the Ndeble tribe, and with the theme being 'A Right Royal Affair', I created a dress fit for an 'African Queen'.

I also brought in elements from the Elizabethan era, such as the ruff and rich fabrics and embellishment.

I made use of over 350m of piping to adorn the panels, which was extremely time consuming!

With having only 3 weeks from when I found out I was in the semi-finals, producing this dress, including the patterns (over 80 panels, not counting the lining!), mock up and actual garment, was a tight squeeze, but having my friends and college to keep me going was a huge plus!

What were your prizes?

The main prize I won is a trip to London mid-next year, to watch the London Fashion Week graduate collections – oh my gosh, I am so excited! I also won R10 000, and R30 000 for my college; a Mark Gold Ring worth R13 000, sunglasses from Sunglass hut worth R2000, a cellphone and then some vouchers.

To top it all off, I have been offered an internship, as well as an opportunity to show my garments in New York.

Best part, ever?

The best part about being a finalist and winning the competition is that I learnt an incredible amount about working in my chosen profession, as well as the importance of always having a back up plan, because nothing ever goes to plan.

What have you learnt through all of this?

By winning the Vodacom Durban July Young Designers Award this month, I got a true perspective as to how this very intense and fast paced industry runs.

Having a thick skin is a definite must to survive in the cutthroat world of fashion.

With winning the VD July young designers award, I have received instant recognition from industry professionals and fashion enthusiasts from all over, which Is a definite confidence booster!

tamara (far right) with her dress at the first stage of judging

very very proud of you, my darling Tam. You should be as well. well done :)

go and like her page on facebook.

{peace and love}

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