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Durban July 2024”Ride The Wave”Fashion and Flair.

Culture

Durban July 2024”Ride The Wave”Fashion and Flair.

More than just a sporting event, the Durban July is a celebration of South African culture, offering a platform for local music, art, and culinary delights. It’s a day to experience the country’s diverse heritage and modern creativity, all against the backdrop of exhilarating horse racing.

The debut race of the July Handicap traced its roots back to 1897 and has traditionally been a highlight on the first Saturday of July each year.
Touted as the premier race for South Africa’s thoroughbred horses, the Durban July Handicap unfolds on a lush turf track.
Originally a 1600m challenge, the race extended its reach to 2200m in 1970, with Court Day galloping into history as the first Group 1 victor over the new distance.
Mike de Kock, the trainer behind the celebrated sprinter Rocket Man, has left a mark with four July Handicap victories, although he trails behind Sydney C. Laird’s record seven triumphs.
Terence M. Millard’s training prowess shone through during the ’80s and ’90s, clinching six wins in just eight years.

Fashion and Flair
Matching the fervor of the races is the event’s fashion show, where “Ride the Wave” sets the tone for 2024. Attendees are expected to interpret this theme through their attire, contributing to a vibrant tapestry of style. It’s a day when the fashion-forward showcase their innovative designs, from structured dresses and flowing fabrics to a palette inspired by oceanic hues.

Celebrities arrived dripping in all sorts of swag, riding the fashion wave with elegance and innovation.

The lively and highly decorated marquees at this year’s Durban July were buzzing with excitement as notable figures, including radio personality and actor Thando Thabethe, MaXhosa designer Laduma Ngxokolo, DJ Lamiez Holworthy, content creator Nadia Jafta, Miss SA 2020 Shudufhadzo Musida, TV presenter and influencer Pamela Mtanga and many others showcased their unique interpretations of the aquatic theme.

While fashion gurus and critics advised against taking the theme too literally, many attendees did just that, adding their own twists and making it work spectacularly.

Among the standout interpretations was that of Pamela Mtanga, who donned a white and blue ensemble by Orapeleng Modutle.

The top half of her dress resembled waves and the bottom, calm waters.

“I am a goddess of the sea coming out of the water and, as you can imagine, she’s carrying all the jewels, all the flowers, and the beauty of the sea,” she told News24.

The back of her dress gave the impression of being engulfed by the sea, while the rest of it resembled serene blue waters.

Former Real Housewives of Durban cast member Kgomotso Ndungane embraced the theme quite literally.

Dressed by Omphe Venter, she wore a powder blue and white princess-like dress with short layers in the front and a train at the back. The top half featured diamonds hanging from the bust, mimicking waves and water droplets. “And we are riding the wave, as you can see,” she said excitedly.

Miss South Africa 2020 Shudufhadzo Musida and Imprint ZA designer Mzukisi Mbane collaborated with the HIV awareness movement #ForeverWena to shine a spotlight on HIV and sexual health through fashion. The campaign featured various garments decorated with messages promoting sexual health and measures to protect oneself and one’s partners from HIV.

While Musida’s dress was undoubtedly a show-stopper, it wasn’t the only one that turned heads in the campaign. Other striking garments in the campaign carrying impactful messages of HIV were worn by actors Kzwenzo Ngcobo and Dillon Windvogel, Miss SA 2020 finalist Dr Karishma Mouton, and drag queen Manila von Teez and Wynand Kotze

Thando Thabethe, star of How to Ruin Christmas, presented an intriguing take on the theme, arriving as a seashell. Her pearly white dress mimicked the texture of a shell, with a sweetheart neckline and dramatic baby blue frills cascading from her left shoulder, creating the illusion of ocean waves.

“I interpreted it as a thing in water, so I’m a seashell with a little bit of blue like the water,” she said.

One of the most jaw-dropping looks belonged to DJ Lamiez Holworthy.

She stunned in a purple mermaid dress by Sihle the Designer, which featured a bodice whose overlapping layers resembled mermaid scales and was embellished with pearls and seashells. She completed her look with a long blonde wig, a striking departure from her usual style which truly made her stand out from the crowd.

Actor Jessica Nkosi also captivated other attendees with her beige, figure-hugging short dress adorned with plastic moulded to resemble water, complemented by blue paint on both the dress and her skin to create a water-like effect.

The fashion aspect of the Durban July not only complements the horse racing but also elevates the entire experience into a grand celebration of style and creativity.

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