Sona fashion: Of cleavage, thigh-high mesh skirts and leopard-print suits

2014-02-14 08:46

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Necklines plunged lower than political scruples on the red carpet outside Parliament last night.

Fashion highs and lows stood cheek by jowl as MPs and dignitaries arrived for President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address in Cape Town.

Helicopters hovered and police officers lined closed-off city streets as the country’s top political brass stepped over 200m of red carpet sprawling under oak trees next to Parliament.

Cleavage, thigh-high mesh skirts, and even a man in a ridiculous but well-cut leopard-print suit turned heads at the country’s premier political fashion bash.

Patricia de Lille once again showed the country who wears the pants in the Mother City.

De Lille, who steadfastly refuses to wear dresses, opted for a white pants-suit, a blouse covered in a tropical floral blaze, and blue kitten-heel sandals.

Zuma arrived, accompanied by his first wife, MaKhumalo.

The presidential first-wives club was completed by fashion icon Tobeka Madiba-Zuma in slinky, off-the-shoulder red with gold peep-toe shoes, Bongi Ngema-Zuma in a print frock and fine, strained stiletto heels, and MaNtuli in a rigid cream dress-suit.

Swathed in white with exposed décolletage, Lindiwe Mazibuko more resembled a runaway bride than a parliamentary leader. Perhaps she was hoping that DA leader Helen Zille would propose, or at least lean in for a kiss.

Mazibuko was seen having a chinwag with Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi. Could they have been discussing firepool specs?

Zille opted for a sweeping toxic green/yellow frock with sequined peacock feather detail and a DA-blue clutch bag.

She posted a picture of herself smiling coyly at the camera with the hashtag #SONAselfie on Twitter. Parliament had invited attendees to do so earlier in the day.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu also wore a white dress with long black gloves, while shadow minister of police Dianne Kohler Barnard, opted for a plunging black with white lace and beads.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and wife Bridgette Motsepe made for a dashing couple – him in tasteful top-to-toe black and her in bursts of parrot green, red and turquoise with a matching head-piece.

Motsepe could perhaps have left her tassled handbag at home.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela scooped the style-stakes in sombre lace-embellished black, with body guards by her side.

Sadly for his vast female fandom, hunky DA finance guy Tim Harris arrived on the arm of his wife, Cara, whose navy dress matched his tie.

One of the best-dressed pairs were kwaito producer Arthur Mafokate and singer Chomee. She wore a dazzling hip-hugging silver-lined dress, him a classic suit and a pert bow-tie.

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