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Change the world


This article appeared in The Herald, La Femme of 30 March 2016. 

Port Elizabeth has been making a name for itself in the South African fashion industry with local designers making it big nationally.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) fashion design graduate Tayla Shan Nguskos is the latest to get her name out there with the accolade of being in the top 10 in this year's African Fashion International (AFI) Fastrack programme.

"I found out about the programme through lecturers at the university and friends who have entered the competition before," the 22-year-old designer said of the fashion pro- gramme that recognises, fosters and mentors "the WELL PE best emerging de- Tayla signers in the studied at country".

Doubting her own creative abilities, Nguskos decided initially she was not going to enter the competition. But then through the persuasion of a friend, fellow Port Elizabeth designer Armand Dicker — featured in La Femme last week — she gave in and entered.

"I entered a number of garments and created six outfits. The name of my collection is Chaos Theory which was my third year range I did at NMMU," Nguskos said.

Inspired by chaos theory, Nquskos said she wanted her range to illustrate the concept — the translation of a chaotic system into an overall behaviour or pattern — in the simplest way possible.

"I have done this by using chaos as my first element to represent the system, making chaotic patterns with no particular order or repetitiveness, creating wearable and trendy outfits using neoprene for kimonos, jumpsuits and corsets and then machine-knitted mohair pieces for coats and tops.”

The AFI Fastrack competition takes place over the course of a year and culminates in the selection of the Young Designer of the Year.

It gives designers access to mentoring and business support to help develop their talents into sustainable fashion businesses.

Describing her style as "wearable, with a bit of edge", Nguskos added that she entered the programme to get recognition for her brand as she dreams of her own fashion business. She completed her BTech in fashion design at NMMU last year and will graduate this April.

Currently based in Johannesburg, the young creative is doing an internship at the luxury label Suzaan Heyns. She has always been creative from drawing to eventually making her own clothes after her mother bought her a sewing machine while she was in high school at St Dominic's Priory.