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'Hobo Fashion' at Durban July

By Zenoyise Madikwa | 2010-08-04 13:28:56.0

The fashion at this year's Durban July is taking flak for being a fashion disaster. First to decry it as shambolic were fashion and dress designers themselves.

But because of  the likes of Durban's most famous and rich socialite Mabheleni Ntuli, who  looked hot as usual, the July was bearable.

He was with  his usual bevy of beautiful women with who followed him around as if they were human accessories. 

Not to be outshone, über drama cheer leader Khanyi Mbau landed with a helicopter on the South Side of the race course.

No need to ponder. She was elegant in  Jeff LTD ditty. 

Socialite Uyanda Mbuli also brightened up the day in a blue  DFC dress that she teamed up with gloves, matching shoes, an eye-catching headgear  and a clutch bag.  She said it took her a day to   design the dress. Yeh, we believe you...

Had it not been for the likes of those, we would  have had no other words to describe the Durban July 2010, except to use platitudes like damp squib .

A famous fashion designer described some of the supposed peacocks strutting their stuff as little more than hobos.

Many of those who love the public spotlight, completely missed judged or interpreted the event's theme of "A Blooming Day!" and literally brought the garden home to the races!

It's no lie that couples arrived dressed in garden-like a pair of pants made from artificial grass and another spotting hats made out pot plants and rakes.

Granted, this bit might have been to provide the much needed comic relief with a variety of spoof outfits, but given the  way the rest of the field looked, it did not help matters.

Some outfits were comical, not in a funny way - as miniskirts flashed knickers, in some cases  stretch-marked flesh  on display was screaming for darkness to fall, while in other lamentable cases, ugly bra straps went on show.

Though the revellers  were greeted by a bright and beautiful sun-shiny day, few dressed to impress at what is supposed to be the country's most fashionable meeting.

Some outfits looked like they were home made.

Critics  blamed uninspired fashion designers for being over enthusiastic in following the "it's a blooming great day" theme.

"A lot of people looked like a flower garden gone wrong," said Linda Moeketsi, a well-known artist manager.

Fashion stylist Dumi Gwebu also bemoaned lack of creativity from designers. He said the standards were dropping every year and the public was not taking the event seriously any more.

"This is supposed to be one, if not 'the' most, glamorous event of the year on our fashion calendar, for crying out loud. 

"It is discouraging and heartbreaking to see people making this high calibre event a circus."

Though fashion designer David Tlale also got the flak for DJ Sbu Loepe's outfit that was dismissed as a  pajama by many, he also dissed the fashion in the event as circus.

"There was no fashion there. Some celebrities came wearing the same outfits they wore last year and the year before that. People were plain boring."

He defended his DJ Sbu outfit and said  fabrics like that were the future of men's fashion.

"People have to understand that men's fashion has evolved. Men are beginning to explore with fabrics. The problem with South Africans is that they are scared of what they do not know. I know that in a few years from now men will be asking me to make what I made for DJ Sbu."

Some fashion designers criticized the public for not seeking  the services of professional fashion designers.

"Most people go to students for their outfits because they do not want to pay the rates of professional designers.  In the process they  drop the standards of this beautiful event.  Most of these students are still experimenting while some do not have a clue of  what fashion is all about," said a designer, who did not want to be named.

Durban July Raceday Fashion Programme Director Tiffany Prior dismissed claims that this year's fashion was boring.

She  said there was nothing out of the ordinary.  "The fashion displayed was  not something new.  Every year there are always extremes.  Unfortunately people tend to concentrate on negative things.   There were some amazing outfits."