Fashion flops and wins
RED CARPET: DESIGNER FARE OR BELT-TIGHTENING GARB?
What’s been called SA version of the MET Gala remains just that – an event to flaunt designer wear.
South Africans like spectacle, except for the walkouts and protests that are now commonplace at the State of the Nation address (Sona) – but the event’s red carpet plays a pivotal role.
Ahead of this year’s speech, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about government tightening its belt. Have the MPs walking the red carpet this year heeded the call?
Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip Natasha Mazzone wore an Amanda Laird Cherry brocade wrap skirt, showing some thrift. The skirt is available to order online from Superbalist for R1 599. She made it clear on the red carpet that last night’s Sona was not about fashion.
“We need to listen to what the president has to say tonight about the electricity crisis, 10.4 million South Africans are unemployed in our country and we need to have some concrete plans in place, not just pipe dreams,” she said.
Transport Minister and ANC stalwart Fikile Mbalula, who typically wears luxury brand suits to Sonas, showed up in unnamed choir-master garb, which, considering his track record, shows he heeded the president’s call, and left the luxury threads at home.
As always, the Economic Freedom Fighters showed up in their red overalls, making them tops at cutting on dressing costs. But that’s where it ended. The red carpet was yet again a parade of gowns, beads and feathers. DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme wore an outfit from Project Runway SA’s Stephen van Eeden, and Bongiwe Walaza designed Xhosa-inspired outfits for Mandla Mandela and his wife Rabia, and the DA’s Nazley Sharif was fearless in a nude illusion dress. Two of the biggest stars of Sona 2020 had to be Siya Kolisi, the Springbok captain, and Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi. Kolisi wore his Springbok blazer and Tunzi wore a GertJohan Coetzee gown.
TSONGA STYLE. Masingita Shibambu, 19, also known as Ntombhi Ya Mutsonga, a praise singer from Malamulele, Limpopo.
CLOSE TO HOME. Mandla Mandela and his wife Rabia sport Xhosainspired outfits designed by Bongiwe Walaza. INSPIRED BY LOVE. The Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA’s newly appointed board member Senamile Masango evokes Valentine’s Day in a red and gold silk gown. IT GIRLS. Model and actress Babalwa Mneno, left, with TV presenter Ntando Duma.