About the writer

This week Athlone News launches its new fashion column written by local designer and personal image consultant, Ronelda Rhode-Fielies.

Ronelda, who grew up in Scottsville, Kraaifontein, was raised there by her grandmother. “I’m the woman I am today because of her,” she says. “Her fashion sense was great and I am a seamstress today as she was the one who made me play around and make clothes for my dolls from a very young age.

“I’m married to the most amazing husband, and we’re planning to start our own family soon.”

While it wasn’t always her dream to go into fashion, Ronelda now runs her own styling consultancy and bridal wear studio in Kraaifontein. “When you are young you want to be a lot of things. I always wanted to do law then become an air hostess. I eventually got an interview with Emirates Airlines but didn’t make it and from there on I got married and didn’t bother again,” she says.

“My dream was also to enter Miss South Africa, after Jo-Ann Strauss was crowned, but I never did. Now there is an opportunity as Mrs South Africa, but I will see.

“Even though I did modelling at school pageants, had a great sense of fashion and was signed up with a modelling agency doing shoots for commercials when I was younger, I just didn’t know I would end up in fashion.”

Asked about her “fashion philosophy”, Ronelda says ”I believe every woman needs a little black dress and that elegance is the only beauty that never fades. I’m also big on wearing clothes that are age appropriate. Nothing looks worse than dressing too old or too young.”

Through this column, she adds: “I hope to give solutions, add value to wardrobes, confidence to low self esteem and empower others on how to stye their everyday lives.”