Local fashion designs for the curvy woman

2014-08-19 18:45

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We’re loving the Under the African Sky range from Swaziland-based fashion label House of Diva, which was started by Phiwase Nxumalo.

The range is one of four brands under House of Diva and is described by Nxumalo as the label’s “shining star”. It features ready-to-wear garments in sizes 30 to 52.

According to Nxumalo, the range is inspired by the various fabrics she finds and sources from across the continent, and is driven by a desire “to truly dress African women”.

She told #Trending its market is women who wear sizes 40 and above. Fabrics are sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Swaziland and South Africa.

Nxumalo says that “having such a wide range of fabrics allows us to really explore the colours and textures of the African continent”.

To complement the gorgeous dresses and skirts, Nxumalo also has Diva Accessories under House of Diva, which provide the perfect pop of colour or extra sparkle for any of the garments with jewellery made from a variety of materials such as wood and bright buttons to pearls.

Nxumalo says: “I’ve always loved clothes and for me as head designer, I am inspired by the ability to cut and feel different fabrics and make something beautiful but distinctly African.”

Although House of Diva aims to make a single garment in a variety of sizes, there is a level of exclusivity because often a garment will only be available in a handful of quantities.

House of Diva supplies Burgundy Fly in South Africa in addition to its studio store in New Doornfontein, Joburg. If a customer’s desired size is not available, Nxumalo says outlets that stock House of Diva are able to call and request a specific size to be made up in three days.

Another big focus for the label is affordability. “We offer unique, ready-to-wear garments that can be worn as a special occasion item – with a specially made doek if you like – and we have the average Under the African Sky skirt starting at R650.”

Nxumalo says: “For House of Diva, ‘the fuller figure’ is not just yada yada, it’s what we actually do.”

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