ALL EYES ON THE Durban July
There was an abundance of sheer fabric and appliqué as fashionistas took to the Greyville Racecourse in droves for the Vodacom Durban July yesterday afternoon. This year’s theme was The Colour of Magic. Shades of red dominated the fashion at the racecourse, with a lot less glitter and sequins added to the fabrics than we’ve come to expect.
Celebville was out in force – from glamorous political wives to actors and musicians – but ordinary punters who came to show off their finest threads were also there. With so much fashion on show, few people gave much thought to the horse racing.
All eyes were on Somizi Mhlongo when he walked onto the racecourse with three armed bodyguards. When asked why he needed the bodyguards, he joked: “It’s money.”
He was dressed in a bronze jumpsuit by Durban designer Zarth. “I wanted something dramatic and this outfit was just too perfect,” he said.
Actress and showbiz personality Khanyi Mbau wore an elaborate mint outfit by Antherline.
“The colour of mint represents the magic in me and this tone shows the contented me, and the value of growth,” she gushed, adding that her shoes came from London.
“I am everywoman; a sinner, a winner, a mum, daughter, a child, but, most of all, a South African woman – the new black. My hair game by Brands Hair Couture is unrivalled!”
TV personality Lalla Hirayama wore a red and navy gown by David Tlale. She was accompanied by her new squeeze, Kent Henderson, and they couldn’t keep their lips off each other.
“I wanted something comfortable and easy to wear, but glamorous at the same time,” she said.
Gagasi FM marquee host Jessica Nkosi, who was dressed by Cinnel, was there with the Isibaya cast.
Newlywed Linda Mtoba was dressed by McCarthy Wolff, and Phophotha did her hair and make-up. Her dress was inspired by Princess Elsa in the movie Frozen.
Spotted at Gagasi FM marquee was TV actress Jessica Nkosi. She was also dressed by Cinnel.
“I am obsessed with the 3-D roses on the dress ... and loved the princess look,” Nkosi said.
One of the marquees to be seen at this year was hosted by Durban businessman Vivian Reddy.
For the past 12 years, it has been called the Isibaya marquee, but this year the name was changed to the SVR marquee, after Reddy and his son Shantan.
Reddy said: “The partnership is significant for both of us because we’ve both established ourselves in South Africa as businessmen. It’s a father-and-son partnership.”
Reddy said the set-up was to express gratitude to his colleagues, friends and clients in his 600-guest marquee.
Reddy’s marquee is popular for hosting big names that include politicians and businesspeople, but yesterday politicians were nowhere to found – possibly thanks to the ANC policy conference in Johannesburg. But their wives were there. Spotted was Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s wife Norma, and Bheki Cele’s wife Thembeka, who looked marvellous in an embellished black minidress with a sheer top and sleeve designed by Marianne Fassler
She said: “Today is one of those days to meet friends and businesspeople, and to admire fashionistas. And, most importantly, to be entertained.”
Norma, who wore a pink dress by Gert-Johan Coetzee, actually also showed an interest in the horses.
“I love horses. But I am also here to have fun and to get away from a hectic life,” she said.
Norma said that, last year, she bet more than R500 on the horses, but she didn’t win a thing. “So this year, I have decided not to bet at all,” she said.
The Afrotainment marquee was draped with black curtains with little crystals cascading off the sides.
Afrotainment owner DJ Tira was dressed in a red and gold paisley suit with gold zips on the side. Tira was friendly to everyone who asked to take photos.
Spotted at the Durban Tourism marquee was TV presenter Nomuzi Mabena, who looked stylish in a black dress with a touch of leather.
Ntombizodwa Makhoba wore a pleated cross-over maxi dress by Spree and her hair was sponsored by Brands Hair Couture
Phat Joe and his wife Palesa Morgan