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Pageant dare goes fashion designer’s way

We had to present ourselves wearing an evening gown

TOTI fashion designer Madelaine Clarke (47) wowed the judges with her poise and style to win a pageant at La Montague in Ballito during the National Bride Festival.

She was crowned ‘mother-of-the-bride’ at the beauty pageant for women over the age of 40.

“I was overwhelmed to win as it was very unexpected,” said Madelaine. “I was approached by National Bride to enter and then encouraged by friends and family. It was basically a dare.”

The criteria for the pageant, which was hosted by 2016 Mrs South Africa finalist Corinne Durrheim Cornelissen, was ‘A lady with poise that carries herself well and has inner, as well as outer beauty’.

“We had to present ourselves wearing an evening gown,” said Madelaine. “I had to whip up something because although I dress people on a daily basis, I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl.”

Madelaine was born in Durban and completed her schooling in the Free State before doing her fashion diploma at the Technikon of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She has lived in Toti for 20 years.

“Designing has been a love of mine from when I was a small girl. It started off with me creating all sorts of outfits for my Barbie and then I graduated to restyling my friends.

Entering a beauty pageant was an absolutely new experience for me. I usually dress the pageant girls and I’ve never been one, so I was totally out of my comfort zone. However, I really enjoyed the experience, made new friends and to win was the cherry on the top.”


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