11 Dec Graduate Series: Tamara Cherie Dyson
Recently graduated from the Design Academy of Fashion, Tamara Cherie Dyson is the first Fashion Designer of our 2012 Graduate Series. Her highlight-studded career so far is an impressive read. She let us know about her journey up until now:
Growing up in the small town of Port Elizabeth, the bright lights of the big city attracted me and for a long time, I was itching to expand my borders. After finishing high school, I lived a year abroad in London, as well as spending a few months in Melbourne, Australia. I worked in a high-end retail brand, earning next to nothing, but the discounts on their exquisite designs were definitely worth it! This experience really helped me grow up and gain some independence; as well as reaffirm to me that the fashion industry is the only place for me – I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.
On returning to South Africa, I moved to the beautiful city of Cape Town and began my studies in fashion. During my tertiary education at Design Academy of Fashion, I have been fortunate enough to have had amazing opportunities come my way, through my hard work, dedication, and networking skills.
In 2011, I won the Durban July Young Designers Award, which saw me visit London in June 2012 to attend Graduate Fashion Week. I cannot begin to explain the inspiration I gained from this stimulating environment.
After this, I began styling photoshoots in the industry, which has allowed me to begin building up a broad portfolio displaying my various skills.
In September 2011, I was accepted for an intern position at Vivienne Westwood in London over my December/January Summer holiday. This once in a lifetime opportunity was priceless, with the knowledge and experience I attained being invaluable. I was also lucky enough to assist backstage during London Fashion Week.
In June 2012, I entered the Elle Rising Star Design Award and was selected as one of the Top Eight Finalists from over 160 applicants in South Africa. This competition was immensely grueling, but the exponential growth that came from it is incomparable. My collection was completed for the beginning of September, and we showed in Johannesburg shortly after that. Many doors have been opened after the runway event, namely my work being showcased in South African magazines such as Elle, Grazia, and Glamour, as well as British online magazine, Just Pirez. My designs were also recently photographed for a gallery event showcased in November, First Port.
In all that I do, I see each day as a new learning experience. A quote I try to live my life by is, “Action is the foundational key to all success” (Pablo Picasso).
The images of Tamara’s grad collection that we’ve chosen to feature have been selected from both her campaign shoot by Ulrich Knoblauch and her lookbook by Chloe Holloway. Here are the credits for both:
Photographer – Ulrich Knoblauch
Assistant – Caroline Mackintosh
Designer/Stylist – Tamara Cherie Dyson
Retoucher – Avron Leto Williams
Model – Kayla Dawn Kuyler
Photographer – Chloe Holloway
Designer/stylist – Tamara Cherie Dyson
Model – Caitlin Dobson