Red carpet fashion: Thumbs up for male politicians

The men outdid the women at this year’s state of the nation address, says fashion designer and stylist Simon Rademan.

“We definitely are a rainbow nation as every possible colour under and in the rainbow was seen on the red carpet – some very overdressed and some even underdressed.

“The fantastic bonus was that the men were dressed impeccably,” he said.

According to Rademan, a new trend that is “uniquely South African” seems to have emerged.

“Our elite seem to wear their gowns longer in front than at the back while the men wore their jackets shorter in front than at the back,” he said, referring to some of those who made his worst dressed list – among them Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

“There are certain body parts that are not for public ‘consumption’ when you no longer have a model’s figure,” he said.

“In Zille’s case, this was her shoulders, back and neckline.”

Rademan did note that the colour of Zille’s dress suited her although the proportions, the lengthened bodice and hemline were “completely wrong”.

Bryants Moore label owner and fashion designer Andile Bhenya thought that former first lady Zanele Mbeki’s outfit was a fashion miss.

“The dress was cute, but it was not meant for her, while the print and colour of the fabric did not do her any justice.”

Rademan referred to the dress as a “fuchsia-and-black-floral-baseball-player-look choice”.

Socialite Khanyi Mbau did not get any rave reviews for her outfit either.

“The way she dressed did not make any sense to me,” said Bhenya. “The whole glamour look did not suit the occasion.”

Rademan’s first choice for the best dressed went to First Lady Nompumelelo Ntuli, who impressed in a deep turquoise outfit.

“The colour suited her beautifully and the two-piece suit was masterfully tailored and complemented her build fantastically,” he said.

Another favourite of Rademan’s was First Lady Bongi Ngema.

“She was simple, elegant and sparsely accessorised in what looked like a Chanel suit.”

Dr Precious Motsepe’s outfit also scored high points, according to Bhenya.

“I loved her look and she did not disappoint,” he said.

“She always looks elegant.”According to Rademan, the best way to dress is to stick to the basics and to know your body type.

“The larger your body type, the less ‘tricks’ you should try, and the more you should cling to simplicity and a focus point, such as shoes or the design,” he said. “This was not what happened at Thursday’s red carpet affair.”

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