Head-turning fashion and wine on view

Len Maseko

Len Maseko

British playwright and novelist Henry Fielding once said: "Fashion is the science of appearance, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be."

Fielding might well have had in mind a fashion showcase such as the Nederburg Wine Auction, a Cape Winelands yearly event which also focuses on auctioning the country's rare wines.

With more than 500 guests in attendance, fashion dazzled on and off the ramp during the two days of the event on Friday and Saturday.

Proof enough that fashion is essentially a head-turner that not only grabs the imagination of a nation but also preoccupies it as a definition of individuality.

Igniting a desire to be (in Fielding's words) among the wine-imbibing guests were six iconic fashion designers - Black Coffee, David Tlale, Hip Hop, Gert van der Merwe, Thula Sindi and Kobus Dippenaar.

However fashion subsumed to the main theme of the day - which was the yearly business of auctioning off the best wines South Africa has to offer.

The wines fetched R4,79million during the two days, compared with last year's R5,13million.

The dip was attributed to the present economic conditions and a highly competitive trading environment in the South African and international wine market.

Foreign buyers - mainly from Taiwan, Zambia, Angola and Brazil - bought 23percent of the wine.

Cape Town Fish Market dominated as the highest buyer for the second time in as many years - followed by Checkers and Makro.

Keynote speaker Professor Monica Christmann, from Germany, said there would be a strong increase in the demand for consumer protection, raising questions about allergens and residues.