IN PICTURES | Virtual fashion at the Durban July

Models Julia Petersen (left) wearing a Hanrie Lues designed outfit and Noluthando Dube dressed by Madelain Clark, pictured with groom Dumisani Bonani.
Models Julia Petersen (left) wearing a Hanrie Lues designed outfit and Noluthando Dube dressed by Madelain Clark, pictured with groom Dumisani Bonani.
Image: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

There were no roaring crowds, no avant-garde outfits and no naked men preparing for the 13th race as Belgarion crossed the finish line to win the 124th edition of the Vodacom Durban July.

The horse, ridden by jockey Richard Fourie, clinched its first VDJ win on Saturday in a closed door event at the Greyville racecourse. Because of the lockdown, this year's races and overall event were held virtually, with only key staff and stakeholders present on race day.

Model Kwanele shows off Guest Designer Xolisi Mkhize's creation at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme
Model Kwanele shows off Guest Designer Xolisi Mkhize's creation at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme
Image: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

“Despite the lockdown regulations restricting public events and activities, betting on the Vodacom Durban July is nevertheless expected to be brisk, with more than R200m predicted to be waged on the 10-race meeting,” the event organisers said in the build-up to the event.

Guest designer Karen Monk Klijnstra displays her creation with model Rose at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme.
Guest designer Karen Monk Klijnstra displays her creation with model Rose at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme.
Image: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

In second place was Got The Green Light, ridden by Muzi Yeni, and third was back-to-back champion Do It Again which fans had hoped would make it a third win in a row and become the first horse in Durban July history to win a hat-trick.

Guest designer Ludwig Bausch displays his creation with model Khadji at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme.
Guest designer Ludwig Bausch displays his creation with model Khadji at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme.
Image: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Fashion did not take a back seat at this year's event. Under the theme 'Butterflies', eight guest designers as well as nine designers from the Durban Fashion Fair showcased their best designs during a virtual fashion show.

Guest designer Zama Mathe displays her creation with model Zime at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme
Guest designer Zama Mathe displays her creation with model Zime at the Vodacom Durban July virtual fashion programme
Image: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

“For me a butterfly is being cocooned then it comes out and floats so this day for me is like that. From lockdown we are open now to just float and be here at Greyville. It's been a really exciting day. We have been looking forward to be here. Being home has been depressing so this is a breath of fresh air,” said designer Zama Mathe of Zarth Designs.

Meanwhile Durban July trended at number one on Twitter with sharing their outfits as well as memes.

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