Trumping scores of other entrants from around the country, only ten designs were chosen as finalists for the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge presented by the Durban Fashion Fair.
The annual fashion competition gives aspiring designers and out-of-province students an opportunity to be part of the biggest horseracing and fashion event in the country by creating a dazzling race day ensemble that interprets this year’s theme, ‘Leader of the Pack’.
Judges Terrence Bray and Kathrin Kidger, both celebrated local designers, and Monica Holman, Race Day Event Manager for Gold Circle, were overwhelmed by the high quality designs and spent a great deal of time deciding on the top ten designs that will progress to the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase.
Designs had to fit into the tough creative brief that effortlessly sewed together technical fashion components such as fit, quality and finish as well as stylistic elements like elegance and sophistication.
Some storyboards translated the theme more literally, displaying concepts like popular card patterns and the colours red, white and black, whilst others presented designs that had dug into the history of playing cards. Some unusual concepts included fabrics influenced by the texture of playing cards and bold looks inspired by female leaders.
Popular Durban designer Kathrin Kidger, was in awe by the overall quality of the designs.
“This year there’s been a huge trend towards designs that are raceday ready as well as interpreting the theme in clever and non-literal way. You can see a lot of thought has gone into the design concept both in interpreting the theme and in approaching the design process.”
Terrence Bray, another renowned designer and familiar face of the Vodacom Durban July, believed the finalists were exceptionally strong:
“They’ve all been chosen because their design had a unique quality. If the finished product is executed as planned it’s going to be very difficult decision to choose a winner because all the designs are unusual, unique and theme appropriate.”
The Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge presented by the Durban Fashion Fair finalists are: Mbaliyethu Zulu, Dakota Jude Baptist, Alexander James Cox, Kathryn Jane Fuller, Chantelle Maartens, Clara Vach, Sanelisiwe Vennetia Mtshali, Kimosha Ganas, Lauren Judith-Anne Straker and Joslyn McDonald.
The public can view the top ten designs at the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase on 15th and 17th June at Greyville Racecouse.
Bookings for the three pre-raceday Vodacom Durban July Fashion Experience Shows on 13, 15 and 17 June are now open. Bookings can be made by calling Thobeka on (031) 314 1645 or emailing email@example.com