For the renowned Lydia Oile of Nchadinyana Clothing, who is also a member of the local and international traditional music group, Culture Spears, fashion means looking unique and elegant.
She tells BG Style that she grew up with the hidden talent of designing which most of her fans do not know about. It was only last year in October, when the smart designer tried out her talent and all fell into place. She has always created designs for clothes, when she was growing up using plastic bags. She shares that she loves clothes and this has just fuelled her passion as she places herself as a trendsetter.
“When I was eight tears old, I would watch my grandmother sewing clothes and I would also imitate her using plastic bags to make dresses,” said the selfless Oile, also known as Nchadinyana in the music industry. “I grew up with a lot of passion for fashion, to a point that I invested most of my time looking at international trends with a lot of inspiration from celebrity outfits of people like Beyonce Knowles, Rihanna and Ciara to mention a few. I have always known that I have diverse talents when it comes to arts since I am a dancer and a singer, so I knew that one day I will design my own clothes and look stunning in what I have made,” explains Oile.
She explains that she started off by making clothing embellishments, earrings, beads and makgabe. As time went on she added a dungaree and a skirt to her art of fashion. She takes pride in her makgabe design, which she explains that she does in a unique way. “I use twisted wool and accessorize it with an African print to give out that African touch and a modernized finish,” she explains.
Makgabe is one of those clothes females would wear back in the days, and traditional music singers still use them on stage, when they perform. Therefore, as much as Oile aims at penetrating the international market in fashion, she saw it fit to add this item in her designs. Besides making these lovely outfits, she also covers shoes, handbags, caps and hats to give fashion lovers that unique and outstanding look as they dress up for different events.
On the other hand, she paints jeans and emphasizes that she always applies her artistic elements and principles because she was once a teacher of Art at Motsumi Junior Secondary School. She says that her major aim is to attract international artists and dress them in the future. “My aim is to see international artists being captivated by my designs, especially makgabe, so that bigger artists like Beyonce also get attracted to what we produce locally. I want to see myself in Paris or New York just to present my traditional outfit designs or any traditional attire because I believe it is high time we also take pride in what’s ours just by modernizing it to make it fit into the 21st century,” said Oile.
What gives her confidence at the moment is the positive feedback that she is currently receiving. “People really like my work, they often tell me that it’s unique and eye catching and I am impressed by the fact that makgabe order is on high demand as people highlight that they need it for cultural events including Son of the soil and weddings,” Oile said.