Frocking hell! So many boobs

2012-02-11 20:30

If members of Parliament are desperate to pass something into law, they should chuck the Protection of Information Bill in the bin and start drafting the MPs’ Crime Against Fashion Bill. The atrocities disguised as fashion during the opening of Parliament on Thursday defied belief.

Granted, politicians have never been known to intuitively gravitate towards trends. In Africa, political haute couture has been defined by Cameroon’s first lady Chantal Biya’s penchant for clingy materials and misadventures with the Dulux paint palette. Let’s not even go to the orange mane that must surely have its own Twitter handle. So when the likes of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma keep offending our fashion sense with
garish kaftans, we let them get away with it with a resigned sigh.

This year, the ladies of Parliament decided to be daring by choosing passionate red as their colour of choice. It was fearless...and fearsome.

Take ANC MP Pinky Mncube and communications specialist Liesl Göttert. These ladies were on fire – and throwing a blanket over them would have saved them from a lot of behind-their-backs sniggering. Mncube’s daring gown, from a Sandton boutique, ensured she stood apart from the crowd.

“That’s what I wanted!”she squealed excitedly when asked why she chose the dress. “Last year I wore a Shangaan outfit and it was very traditional. This year I wanted something Western. I loved the dress the minute I saw it in the store. And the red just pops out.”

Well, colour was not the only thing popping out of Mncube’s dress. We see the cleavage, Madam, and acknowledge it. And the badge stamped on it.

Göttert was no less giddy. She turned this way and that as she tried for the perfect pose for the waterfall train of her Devon Anderson dress which overlay an impossibly short skirt. We had to scream at Göttert to stop bunching the sheer overlay as the skirt kept skimming her butt dangerously.

More elegant and muted in their fiery red were the DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard and ANC MP Sindi Chikunga.

And there were other edible colours on display, such as that worn by the curvaceous Thandile Sunduza. The ANC chair of the arts and culture committee was the proverbial picture bomber, showing off her self-made cocktail dress which clung to her frame.

DA sweetheart Lindiwe Mazibuko was in a sedate nude Malcom Kluk CGTD dress with dusky pink accents and gold embellishments. It complemented her mentor Helen Zille’s mauve and green Hendrik Vermeulen frock.

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem that the third member of the troika, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, received the “flowing dress with a sunset palette” memo. She stepped out in a coral – she insisted on that description – pants suit and matching blouse. Sorry sis’Pat, but it’s still an orange outrage on the red carpet. Not. A. Good. Look.

Our first ladies, and fiancee, looked as different as possible.

MaKhumalo was shoved into the 21st century in a whimsical grey dress and bolero combo. She would have been perfect had she smiled. Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma looked like she’d never had a fitting for her matric dance-style dress which was too short, too tight, too pouffy and too booby. Platform heels are for strippers and hipsters; not first ladies.

Thobeka Madiba Zuma was pretty in her blush pink number, but it was more appropriate for a garden party.
Future first lady Bongi Ngema really needs to give the office chic look a break.
Next year, we dream of a red carpet resplendent with tailor-made suits, designer wear and signature looks. But that dream, unlike our democracy, will probably never be fully realised.

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