Friday, 5 August 2011

Voluptuous Vixen of the week

Hey Vixens, today's posts is all about the Voluptuous Vixen of the week. It'll actually count as Voluptuous Vixen post of the month because I don't think I'll be featuring anyone else anytime soon. Largely because I don't have time to blog as much as I'd like to, and secondly because some of the Vixens I'd like to feature on here are celebrities. It’s difficult to get any information on SA celebrities let alone information relating to their fashion choices. There aren’t a lot SA celebrities the net so without proper info on them I don't really like to blog about them.

Mihlali wearing one of her own creation under her clothing line of  S'dudla Haute Couture
Today's vixen is someone I'm very excited to have on the blog. Her name is Mihlali Qqada, she's got a killer dress sense, and she’s what I'd like to call an O-D, Original Diva. She was kind enough to agree to take part in a Q and A and she sent me some fun pics of herself. The interview is below, enjoy!

Mihlali is what we here in SA would call S’dudla-fabulous (S’dudla is a term of endearment for phat girls in SA). She lives in Pretoria the Capital City of South Africa, but says as a Xhosa woman her heart is still in the Eastern Cape where she was born in the coastal town of East London. She's an all-rounder kind of woman, working in the professional world and also holding it down in the fashion scene as the designer and owner of S’dudla Haute Couture.

The name Milhlali means joy and happiness. It’s almost like when her parents named they were predicting she would be the blissful woman she is today, because her name matches perfectly with her warm personality and her radiant smile. Without further ado, here’s the interview.

1.    From all the photos I’ve seen of you, one thing that stands out to me is the confidence you exude. Not a lot of women are blessed with this kind of confidence. Some women go into their 40s hating their ample bodies and appearance, how have you gotten this right?

From a very early age my Mother (Indlovukazi - Quees- Lioness) has always affirmed not only by beauty but my worth too.  She mastered the art of self-love and appreciation and never failed to let me and my sisters know how special and unique we were and how grateful she was to have US as her daughters.  This catapulted my confidence and made me the woman I am today.  I feel like women have so many issues and problems they deal with from being an all round care giver, to being a nurturer and protector. All of this is done with poise, a smile and high heels; lack of confidence does not even make the list of things women have to worry about.  For me you need to start with self before saving the word (which is the invariable the role of a woman).  My confidence comes from my love and respect of self.  I am beautiful in all ways imaginable and the comments of others only seek to affirm what I already know.  And this by no means is arrogance.

2.    You have a killer dress sense, who would you say your style icons are? Which women plus size and or straight size would you say inspire your style?

Mo’nique is most definitely one of my favorite voluptuous women icons.  I do not refer to perfectly rounded women as plus size largely because I do not understand PLUS to what, who is the benchmark of size and why.  So for me size is like age, it ain’t nothing but a number.  My dresses (that I design under my label S’dudla Haute Couture) are shaped and sized to every, and any woman’s figure and do not possess sizes.

I love exploring with fashion and setting trends, I love different color pastels and I enjoy styling people (big or small).  For me fashion is about expressing your inner style sense.  I also love vintage wear, I sell vintage dresses, skirts, blouses, jewelry all because I love styling people and of course myself too. 

3.    Do you work in the fashion business? And if so what do you do? Are you a designer, jewelry maker? If not, do you have ambitions of entering the fashion business?

Yes I am a designer, I design my own clothes and for the others too.  My label is called S’dudla Haute Couture by Mihlali Gqada, I also scout vintage for retail and commercial purposes.  I really love this part of the life; I am inspired by a range of things, from making women smile when you style them to finding perfect accessories for a gown etc.  For the Durban July 2011 I dressed and styled about eight ladies, all different sizes, shapes and styles. It was challenging and intriguing at the same time. 

4.    Do you design and make some of your clothes?

Most of my clothes I design myself
5.    What are your favorite stores to buy clothes? Stores which you find cater aptly to the plus girl?

The Space, SOWETRO, World Wear, Forever New (shoes and accessories) Woolworths (amongst others) shoes ALDO, EUROPA, SOCRATI and occasionally NINE WEST I also love MR Price pumps - it depends what I am looking for.

6.    Are you a bargain hunter? Do you ever buy at bargain shops? And by that I mean, those down town, china town stores, that might offer the same shoe, skirt, or pants at a high end retailer for cheaper?

Well…look the China shops do sell GENUINE goods, so I am overly skeptical of them BUT with that said I go any and everywhere, I know bargain spots and love sale season.  Where I can get good quality goods for less you will find me all styled up smiling all the way to the till.

7.    If you do bargain shop, what are some of the secrets you’d like to share with us? What are the big no-no’s to do when bargain shopping?

Do not buy cheap high heels – for us heavier women high heels need to be stern and able to carry our weight. So as far as I’m concerned NEVER EVER compromise on shoe quality otherwise they will break at the oddest hours of the day

I love bargain shopping but only on sale season – then you’re guaranteed to find the same quality at a lower price. 

8.    What do you prefer most for your shape? Pants, skirts or dresses?

Skirts and dresses are my ultimate favorites, shorts as well make you feel casual and sexy but nothing beats a tight yellow knee length dress with purple sandals and red jewelry … you can never go wrong with a dress and it cuts out thinking about the tope etc.

9.    What is on your must have list for this spring /summer

Short and long sun dresses, shades (I love this accessory), colorful earing, bangles and rings.  And as for the sandals and bags – GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!

Bold colors are the order of the day this summer

10. I love how you wear anything you want! You wear pencil dresses, form fitting skirts, things which some people would say plus size women should not wear due to the shapes of their bodies. Do you ever have friends or family members that are surprised at your fashion choices and how do you deal with people who frown upon what you may choose to wear?

I live for me and do me every day all day all year round.  I learnt to ignore the glances whether good or bad because for me it’s not what the next person says or thinks but how I feel.  My mother at times thinks my outfits are small and I have learned to tone down for conservative activities like church work etc. but I still stay true to me! Just like Steve Biko wrote what he liked, I wear what I like.  When it comes to the haters – all I have to say is GET A LIFE!!! Because I’m living mine

11. Any words of wisdom you’d like to impart on fellow Sista’s who are having problems dressing their bodies?

First accept and understand your body shape (and trust me this applies to every single woman thin or fat)…Learn to want to dazzle and believe that looking HOT and feeling SEXY is not the exclusive right of smaller figured woman, there is enough space for all of us to look great…then GO shopping (or give me a ring and I will hook you up, in your own budget)…Appreciate your body and always remember that less is more, avoid looking overly desperate to look hot by wearing small garments, be real to you and dress for your body.

Thanks again S’dudla Diva it was fun!


  1. Great interview! She is beautiful and her style is fierce! Kiah

  2. 3 snaps in the air to her style!

  3. I know right guys?! She's adorable, mos def a new style icon of mine:)

  4. Nice post! She is so fierce. I like her style.


  5. WOW!!! I love every one of her outfits!! smokin hot!

  6. OH MY!!!!!!! She is SOOOOOOOOOO FIERCE!! Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. I glad I am able to inspire such a beautiful woman as yourself. Good luck thrifting and do let me know about your finds!!


  7. thank you very much, lovely to see new designers.

    does she have a blog?