Linda Mtoba mesmerises Durban July fans in absentia

Fashionistas captivated by her interpretation of the theme

Masego Seemela Online journalist

The River actress Linda Mtoba has spilled the details on how she stole the show at this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July without even being there. 

Mtoba wasn’t physically in attendance at the Greyville Racecourse in Durban on Saturday, but she still created a spectacular style moment by virtually interpreting this year’s fashion theme, “Out of this World”. Mtoba is currently attending the three-day Afro Nation music festival in Portimão, Portugal, where African acts Young Stunna, Davido and  Burna Boy, Focalistic, DBN Gogo, DJ Maphorisa, Uncle Waffles, Pabi Cooper, Felo Le Tee, Ayra Starr and  more have performed.

Speaking to Sowetan on Sunday morning, Mtoba shared details of how she managed to pull off her futuristic look designed by McCarthy Wolff. She then took pictures and shared them on social media, winning over many fashion lovers.

“I got super excited the minute I heard that the theme was “Out of this World” because one thing that I love is a good theme,” she said.

“The first thing I did was to do research on what ‘out of this world’ looks like, from the stars to the planets, the dark hole and everything to do with space… I even thought of Elon Musk and eventually I found a look that gravitated towards me.

“Throughout the years, people have changed how horse racing fashion should look like. It’s no longer ideal to come wearing a dress that flows all the way down, so I knew my dress had to be short and easily moveable.”

Social media loved Mtoba’s commitment, despite not being there in person. “Linda Mtoba eating with her DJ [Durban July]  fit all the way from Portugal…” @SheIsHloni tweeted. 

Other standout looks included YoutTuber Lasizwe Dambuza, looking like an “Alien Superstar” in two outfit changes. But Somizi Mhlongo was like “I will change six times” then. His most memorable was his entrance ensemble, where he was carried in a prism by hunky men.

The River actor Lunathi Mampofu had many applauding her cyberpunk make-up. 

“Inasmuch as you’re sticking to the theme, you also have to incorporate your style and sense of fashion,” said the 31-year-old actor. 

“I absolutely love nebula. I love their look, their colours and the concept of what they actually are.

“I do believe in the line of work we’re in, the fashion we wear and how we execute our fashion looks. It also helps for the next person who comes into the industry to draw inspiration from what we’ve done, much like the nebula, it then turns into a nursery where all the other stars can exist, which is very cool.” 

Hollywoodbets named leading lady Jessica Nkosi in Ruberto Scholtz as Best-Dressed Female, while Sowetan S Mag editor Emmanuel Tjiya was named Best-Dressed Male. Maps Maponyane in all-white separates by Amen Concepts scooped the win for Best-Dressed According to Theme, with actor Kay Sibiya, while partner Judie Kama were named Best-Dressed Couple.

“Everyone else looked beautiful in their outfits, but Jessica Nkosi looked amazing in her gown and her concept shoot was everything— the styling of the dress is very flattering and gave off an astronaut type of feel,” Mtoba said.

“Seeing that I wasn’t there in person, I tried to consume as much content as possible from the looks at the Durban July. I also loved Siya Bunny’s look and definitely Somizi Mhlongo’s interpretation of the theme. He changed six times, which is a record of some sort — I just love the effort he put into it.”

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