The problem with reserving seats for people – and putting their names on their seats – is that it becomes obvious when your high-profile guests decide to give your shindig a skip.
This was evident at the Museum of African Design, Maboneng Precinct, on Thursday evening.
But despite some famous no-shows, the place was teeming with all kinds of notable faces, from TV presenters, models and fashion designers to sports commentators and presenters – and everything in between.
After all, it was the eve of the final of the Nedbank Cup, as well as the bank’s Football Fan Fashion grand finale. And the big guns of the fashion business were part of the line-up of fashion meeting football.
The competition required each team to have a student designer work side by side with a professional designer, as well as a professional model and a soccer fan modelling the creations of the country’s 16 Premier Soccer League teams.
But like with all things fabulous, seeing empty chairs was sore on the eyes. Seats supposed to have been occupied by the likes of Zakes Bantwini and girlfriend Nandi Mngoma, Pearl Thusi, Dineo Ranaka and Bonang Matheba remained empty while we mere mortals had to watch the proceedings standing.
This partly explains why Minnie Dlamini had to call some of the audience members back when they started to leave before she had formally wrapped up the programme.
But at least IsiBaya’s Nomzamo Mbatha, former model Bridgette Masinga, actor and talk show host Khanyi Mbau and Gerry Rantseli Elsdon honoured their invites.
The occasion was designed to allow soccer fans an opportunity to turn their fashion ideas into high-end fashion masterpieces.
Minnie Dlamini, who has just reportedly signed a multimillion-rand deal with Nedbank, hosted the event. Some girls are just plain lucky.
For the first time in a long time, Dlamini was without her permanent tail in the form of manager Pumza Nohashe, who has reportedly been booted out of the job.
The event began much later than the time indicated on the invitation – once the guests had settled in and the free drinks had revived spirits.
The guests finally made their way into the venue upstairs, where real models stood alongside soccer fans and student designers, and competed on a real runway for prestige and pride on the catwalk.
Eventually, Kaizer Chiefs took the fan-design trophy. The outfit was designed by Terrence Bray and student designer Tamlin Bergoff.
Gavin Rajah, who designed for SuperSport United, took the designer trophy, while student designer Safiya Noor Mahomed, who collaborated with Kathrin Kidger for Polokwane City, took the student design honours.
There were also some fashion hits and misses, but the fan who represented Bloemfontein Celtic was a breath of fresh air. He brought life to the catwalk with his dance moves, and was eventually joined on stage by designer David Tlale, who designed the Bloem Celtic garb in collaboration with young designer Marguerite McAlpine.
His kwasa moves could put Chomee to shame, and they proved a hit with the audience.
But, really, those celebs who missed the show should have at least notified the organisers. Empty seats are like missing teeth your tongue keeps returning to.