'It's going to be a mess': Durban July theme has Mzansi baffled

This year's 'Butterflies' themed Durban July will take place on July 4 at Greyville Racecourse.
This year's 'Butterflies' themed Durban July will take place on July 4 at Greyville Racecourse.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

If the organisers of the Durban July were hoping to leave fashion lovers aflutter with the announcement of this year's theme — "Butterflies" — they were in for a rude awakening.

Not only were the Twitter fashion police left baffled by the theme, but questions also swirled around the amount of effort put into the marketing of the popular racing event, which is organised by Gold Circle Horse Racing and Betting.

On the inspiration behind the theme, Gold Circle’s event marketing manager Ken Tweddell said: "The one thing that really stood out for me at the 2019 Vodacom Durban July was the predominance of brightly coloured outfits — I wanted to encourage more of that aspect for the 2020 event."

He came up with the idea while hosting a group of international media on a bush getaway after the 2019 Durban July. While the journalist were out on a game drive, he was browsing a selection of books in the hotel's reception and immediately gravitated to the most colourful one on the shelf: Butterflies of South Africa.

"The penny dropped! Butterflies of excitement in the stomach for the racing folk. The social butterflies of the fashion stakes. The variety of bright colours and patterns of butterflies,” explained Tweddell.

However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the 2020 theme as Tweddell. Fashion designer Thula Sindi was particularly irked, saying: "Not even a kids party should be themed 'Butterflies'. This is going to be something else - a visual assault."

Here are some more reactions: