A month ago our very own Fashion Director, Bev Nates, hopped onto a plane and flew to LA, the home of all our favourite celebs – including our April cover star, Blac Chyna. Not only did Bev style the Rob & Chyna reality TV star and entrepreneur, but she also collaborated with some of SA’s hottest up-and-coming designers for the cover shoot.
We decided to interview the artists who created Blac’s incredible outfits. First up is Sheila-Madge.
We gave her a little Q&A to get the exclusive inside scoop on her label and what it was like designing for COSMO and Blac Chyna. She is the genius behind the sexy OTT embellished one-piece (worn on our cover) with a strong V-line, accentuating Chyna’s ?? curves.
Insta handle: @Sheilamadgedesign
Twitter handle: @Sheilamadge
Phone number: 082 674 4414
How did you become a designer?
I had one of those typical made-the-Barbie-clothing types of childhood. My best friend Bernette Bergenthuin and I used to dress up in my mother’s and grandmother’s wedding dresses and parade around like queens. Then came a time when I wanted to scratch in the dirt to find treasures and minerals – fashion and frills long forgotten. But it wasn’t long before I secretly started collecting fashion magazines. Naturally, the magazine industry was an obvious career choice, but after getting my degree in publishing I started my degree in fashion and I was hooked for life.
What was your inspiration behind the piece?
The aesthetics of old circus masters and their (always female) assistants served as great inspiration. I wanted to break the barrier between the male and female roles. Strong V-shapes reflect the typical waistcoat the circus master used to wear, but it is embellished with sequins and crystals (which the assistant would wear). To add a modern twist, I pulled in a bit of Japan by using lilac. Blac Chyna’s beautiful female form is starkly contrasted and accentuated by all these elements.
Take us through your creative process.
I believe strongly in 90% research/prep and 10% execution. My designs are really time-consuming (with all the textures and beading, etc). I look at pictures, draw sketches and leave it to brew in the back of my mind. The design process is very organic and I need to give room for change. The original idea or picture might sometimes turn out completely different to the end-product – it is a journey.
How do you feel knowing that Blac Chyna wore your garment?
All I can say is EEK!
Can our readers purchase this piece from you, or was it a once-off?
This was a very special once-off garment. But the readers are welcome to purchase something on my online store at Sheilamadge.com or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any custom-made garments.
Do you have advice for other designers on how to get your work out there?
Go for it! Be dedicated, persevere and push yourself beyond expectations. These wise words from my dad can be applied to any situation and I feel it’s a worthwhile philosophy to live by. By doing what you do best to the fullest, you will get where you need to be!
Bev worked with Sheila-Madge and the other designers every step of the way, from conceptualising pieces to helping them show off Chyna’s sexy figure. #COSMOFashion