Durban July: this year’s event to be a fitting tribute to royal nuptials

2011-06-28 00:00

IT’S tophats, red carpets, exquisite gowns, pomp and pageantry at this Durban Vodacom July. A right royal affair and a fitting tribute to the royal wedding bells that seem to sound more frequently of late.

The Witness caught up with Terence Pillay — a name synonymous with the big annual race meeting — for some insight into what to expect.

In recent years, Pillay was one of the unforgiving judges on the panel for the Young Designers competition, which provides the ultimate springboard for young fashionistas, but this year he opted out.

“I look forward to enjoying it this year, it promises to be the best yet,” he said.

Pillay says big corporates go all out to entertain and last year the Sibaya marquee for instance splashed out R5 000 per head.

“The bigger the tent the more lavish the party,” he said, “and let’s not forget, drinks are almost always on the house.”

Student designers from fashion colleges across the country presented their sketches and designs to different judging panels in five regions and finalists are expected to showcase their winning designs at a final judging at the July.

A name to look out for is acclaimed designer Kathryn Kidger, who will feature prominently at the big melting pot of fashion.

The winner will walk away with a cash prize of R10 000 and a trip to the 2012 London Graduate Fashion Week, while the college that the winning student is enrolled at will earn a R30 000 bursary. Each of the finalists take home R2 000.

The finalists so far are: Marti Milner (Gauteng), Liezl Butler and Jaynie Portgieter (Free State), Lisbe Schoonraard (Eastern Cape), Amy-Louise Snelling, Karlien Labuschagne and Tamara Dyson (Western Cape), Shelley Botha, Tamara Zuke and Nabeela Osman (KwaZulu-Natal).

“The theme this year is probably most appropriate with the July’s origins being in an aristocratic, colonial setting,” Pillay said, adding that now, the July event is a celebration of Durban and its cultural diversity.

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