Chance for the ladies to light up Parliament

THE opening of Parliament tonight promises to be a feast for the eye. For the first time in the history of the legislature, the opening will take place at night, along with the State of the Nation Address.

Hundreds of politicians will walk the red carpet in their evening wear and it will be interesting to see how they carry the evening look.

The opening of Parliament usually draws the attention of fashion critics from around the country.

This time around, many fashionistas expect to see something modern, sophisticated and unexpected.

Uyanda Mbuli of Diamond Face Couture says she expects lots of glitz and glamour.

"We expect lots and lots of glittering evening dresses from knee-length all the way to the floor," Mbuli says.

"Most ladies will do well to adorn themselves with beautiful head gear.

"I would advise the ladies to accessorise with flowers in their hair, a matching bag and nice sandals."

Ankaras and big hats are a no-no, she says.

But Thabo Maserumule of Thunderstorm Designs does not agree with Mbuli on the ankaras (African dress).

"Unfortunately our parliamentarians will not part ways with ankaras any time soon," Maserumule says.

He says ankaras will not go out of fashion with MPs because they make a political statement and a symbol of freedom.

He expects communists and ANC stalwarts to sport the look tonight.

Maserumule also expects lots of black tie and cut-and-tailored suits, especially from the BEE crowd.

Lindiwe Mazibuko might just give Lindiwe Sisulu and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who are always crowd favourites, a run for their money.

These two usually rely on their fabulous style sense to light up the occasion.

Make-up artist Angel Marais says evening make-up has to dazzle. She suggests dark lips or smoky eyes, but never both.