Tamara Cherie Dyson is a true rising star, one we are very proud of, as we saw her growth at the very first stages of her career, when she started studying at DAF. Her success is an inspiration to many aspiring designers and students. We asked Tamara some questions about her student life, her experience after graduating and some insider advice for those wanting to make it in the industry.
DAF: You studied at DAF from 2010 to 2012 and entered your graduate collection into the Elle competition, were very successful as a finalist but didn’t win that year. Now you bravely took the opportunity again with a new collection and won! Please tell us more about what you learnt through the experience of being in the competition twice and what you believe it took for you to win it.
Tamara: Having the honour of being a finalist twice has helped me grow immensely as a designer. Each judging round really pushed my limits and assisted me in honing in on what I truly want to deliver to the public. I found the entire competition process, in both instances, helped me take a step back and see my collection from ‘an outsider’s’ point of view. Gaining such incredible (and often tough) feedback from industry professionals was an invaluable experience. My collection this time around is far more wearable and sellable – something I deliberately decided to focus on – whilst still keeping a strong runway appeal. All aspects – from the designs and concept, to branding and the business plan – were all far more cohesive and solid this year, and I believe the judges saw my growth, both personal and design orientated, and knew I was ready to take on the win.
What do you believe sets you apart as a young designer?
I believe in creating investment pieces, reworked classics that are contemporary and fresh, without following fast fashion fads and trends. I feel my brand fills a gap in the niche market of local luxury fashion, and that consumers will appreciate the brand’s attention to cut, fit, cloth, and detail.
Tell us about your latest collection.
A luxury womens ready-to-wear collection showcasing discreet indulgence through carefully considered design, an underlying minimalistic approach, and a flawless aesthetic.
Influenced by line, shape, and form of Bauhaus architectural design, stark linear shapes contrasted with fluid, curved lines flow throughout the range in both striking and subtle ways. The use of predominately natural fabrics and understated textural contrasts, together with meticulous attention to detail and finishing, create garments of simple perfection with a high-end mood.
Stripped back and designed with a modern edge, the Geometrics collection displays perfect control and balance between the fundamental design element.
What have you learnt as a student that was most helpful in reaching the success you have achieved?
Learning to recognize when it is good to be a perfectionist, and when it is okay to let go and compromise.
What was the most fun part about being a fashion design student?
Not having to worry too much about business viability whilst designing, so having a lot of freedom of creativity was always the best part of studying.
What was the biggest challenge you faced with regards to choosing a career in fashion design?
Learning to be able to delegate and rely on others for things such as production, and having to work within extremely tight deadlines.
What advice do you have to fashion design students and aspiring young designers?
Always have a plan B, C, D, and E for any task at hand.
Thank you, Tamara. That is very good advice indeed! We wish you the highest success in your future endeavours. We will surely be keeping our eye on you!