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Gold and yellow set to dominate fashion stakes at Durban July

African textiles emerge as style of choice for gents

Thango Ntwasa Columnist
Dress code calls on guests to burst their fashion senses wide open.
Dress code calls on guests to burst their fashion senses wide open.
Image: Catwalk.com

America has the Met Gala, while Italy has Pitti Uomo and in SA the one fashion affair that always gets tongues wagging is the Durban July.

Moving from butterflies and birds of a feather themes in previous years, this year’s grand event continues with another outdoorsy theme dubbed "show me the honey".

In what seems to be a celebration of attendees finally getting a chance to show off without the fear of heavier Covid restrictions, the dress code calls on guests to blossom like a flower and burst their fashion senses wide open.

Not quite sure what you should wear to this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July? Here is a look at some runway inspiration that is bound to leave fans abuzz.

Must have motif: floral

With the theme that leans heavily on bees and pollen, it would be amiss not to celebrate flowers. Try colour or pattern blocked floral prints on gowns or if you are a bit of a theme queen, get campy in outfits that take directly from different flowers.

Blossom like a flower.
Blossom like a flower.
Image: Getty Images/ Catwalking

Colour code: gold and yellow

When thinking of honey, one can directly go to gold. While you would be an immediate laughing stock for taking on honey literally, try to embody what it means to you. If you want to personify the play on words used in the theme, try large or bold gold accessories that scream wealth. Men might want to use a touch of this colour on neck ties, cuff links, pocket handkerchiefs or cravats if they are a little weary about wearing it head to toe. Feeling brave?  Embody bees with yellow outfits or pieces that incorporate black as a contrasting colour.

Go for larger-than-life ballerina-inspired gown with tulle.
Go for larger-than-life ballerina-inspired gown with tulle.
Image: Getty Images/ Peter White

Icon to copy: Queen Bey

With her formidable fans, Beyhive, Beyoncé has earned the titled of Queen Bey. Something that has reflected in her clothing choices that capture the sunny tones associated with hives. Other than literal bees, look to her as the queen and her runway favourites. Beyoncé often opts for sumptuous or voluminous pieces that compliment her voluptuous shape and daring accessories. Her now iconic Vogue cover is one of the outfits to look to with its dramatic collar. Also opt for 1980s inspired shoulders or mesh outfits that capture the warm tones she always goes for.

Fabric find: tulle

Softer fabrics like tulle can help capture the softer side of the theme. Go for larger-than-life ballerina-inspired gowns paired with edgy boots or striking sneakers for a rebellious and on-trend look. Otherwise, you can use tulle as a styling piece whether it’s a head scarf or to create dimension to gowns and jacket.

Opt for dramatic collars or '80 inspired shoulders or mesh outfits.
Opt for dramatic collars or '80 inspired shoulders or mesh outfits.
Image: Getty Images/ Peter White

Accessories: crowns 

Nothing says queen bee quite like a crown, something even the previously mentioned Beyoncé has never been shy of with head pieces including halos and floral details. This is also a great way to spice up an ordinary menswear look with a striking and detailed crown. Avoid plastic crowns as they only make the outfit look more like an afterthought rather than a cohesive look. For less frantic looks, match darker colours with silver crowns and brighter colours with gold crowns.

Suiting success: African prints

Not every gent attending the Durban July will be excited about wearing bizarre clothes that they don’t feel comfortable in but you can impress the ladies with a creative take on your style by embracing the varied African textiles our continent has to offer. From Ankara to Shweshwe, you're bound to find a print that embodies birds, bees and everything in-between. Also look to local designers like MaXhosa Africa, Fundudzi, ALC Man and Imprint ZA who often have a creative spin on traditional prints and textiles.

Incorporate black as a contrasting colour with yellow.
Incorporate black as a contrasting colour with yellow.
Image: Frazer Harrison

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