Scene City: The state of the fashion nation

2013-02-17 10:00

Blue seemed to be the colour of choice this year.

The awards season is nearing an end, and in honour of the big one – the Academy Awards – we are giving our own gongs to the political glitterati who walked the red carpet on Thursday.

With the scorching heat accompanied by gusts of the famous Cape Town southeaster, the country’s decision makers and influential business people donned their finest threads to hear President Jacob Zuma give his state of the nation address (Sona).

As expected, not everyone put their best fashion foot forward. Shimmery materials resembling wrapping paper were the order of the day, with hues of blue, pink and red dominating.

View our hot & not gallery.

So here are the nominees and winners on the Sona 2013 red carpet...

Category: Blue Belles


»?Johanna Mukoki is not known for her classic style. Her choices tend to veer towards an asymmetrical cut, a dull colour palette, and unflattering designs.

True to form, she ruined a perfectly good dress by sticking loose pieces of material all over it.

»?Riah Phiyega takes the saying boys and girls in blue so seriously, she didn’t even hesitate to rock her Police Commissioner uniform on the red carpet.

»?Thuli Madonsela gave her power suits a rest on Thursday and opted for a form-fitting gown that showed off her figure.

For once, even her hair cooperated.

»?Pinky Mncube had tongues wagging last year as she preened for the cameras in a red dress that barely contained her heaving, tattooed bosom.

This year, hardly anyone noticed her under an ill-fitting baby blue dress with glued-on feathers that looked like a three year-old’s art project. You see, cleavage gets you everywhere?.?.?.

»?Dumisile Nhlengethwa had many women nervously biting their lips when she strutted in a short strappy dress with a confusing concertina pleat accent on the chest area.

Was she supposed to be someone’s badly wrapped Valentine’s Day present, perhaps?


»?Thuli Madonsela. The public protector showed true elegance and grace in a ­challenging design.

Category: Couple coordination


»?Kenneth Meshoe and wife Lydia chose a safe but sweet black and white polka dot combination.

Being middle-aged and churchy, this was a rather bold choice, especially for Mam’mfundisi with that daring white bodice and tiered skirt.

»?Helen Zille and husband Johann Maree were at it again, this year donning aquamarine as their palette of choice.

The Western Cape premier glided in wearing a floor-sweeping gown by Johan Smit from Paarl, paired with a clutch by the Oudtshoorn Ostrich Company.

Layers of what looked like chiffon were saved from blowing up by the drop waist of her lace overlay with long sleeves and delicate button detail down the spine.

Her plastic-smooth face was shown off by an off-the-shoulder detail that elongated her neck and made her look like Barbie’s granny.

»?Malusi Gigaba and said fiancée Norma Mngoma were rather romantic if uninspired in their ­Valentine’s Day red.

She was in a very tight fishtail gown with a plunging sweetheart neckline, while his tie was the exact match.

If it weren’t for her cleavage, they would have been ­perfectly boring.

»?Dali Tambo and wife Rachel like funking up their attire with unexpected twists.

Rachel was a traditional Xhosa makoti – in pink. With chiffon shoulders.

And isicholo. Her outfit was from Sun Goddess.

Come to think of it, there was nothing traditional or funky about that outfit. Fail!

»?Arthur and protégé Chomee never miss the opening of Parliament.

This year they were predictable – again.

She wore a beach-style dress and he was in slim-fitting chinos and a well-cut jacket. Not revolutionary, but they looked good.


Helen Zille and her husband always err on the side of high fashion, but at least they try.

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