Plus size IS NOT JUST YADA YADA

Gugulethu Mh­lungu speaks to the head de­signer of House of Diva about a gor­geous new and af­ford­able range of African-print gar­ments

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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-towear 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.”

Find your per­fect fit from the Un­der the African Sky range at Bur­gundy Fly in Maponya Mall and The Zone @ Rose­bank, or by calling 082 903 7570

DI­VAS DI­VINE The Un­der the African Sky range from House of Diva fea­tures gar­ments in sizes 30 to 52

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