Student from the Durban University of Technology dominated the second round of judging at the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, when they snatched nine of the ten finalist berths at a glitzy evening of fashion at Greyville Racecourse on Tuesday evening.
Pietermaritzburg student designer Nosipho Ntuli staved off what could have been a DUT clean-sweep by securing a top ten spot, but the judges conceded afterwards that it had been very tough to separate the top ten from the thirty semi-finalists.
Judges Terrence Bray, Kathrin Kidger, Sindi Shangase, Zama Mathe and Derrick Mhlongo deliberated for some time before settling on the top ten, and concluded that the overall quality of the entries made the for a long deliberation over the top 10.
“What was notable was that the standard of entries was consistently high, which makes it tougher for the judges,”’ said Bray.
“In line with where fashion is going, the designs were very individual and very well considered and thoughtful,” he added. “The judges tended to favour ideas and designs that we have never seen before. That’s the nature of the competition.”
Bray said that many of the most striking designs were menswear.
“I will be very surprised if we don’t see a menswear winner from this year’s finalists. They were head-and-shoulders above the ladies wear,” said Bray.
“We were all pleasantly surprised. The menswear was creatively very strong and very polished.
“There will be a new panel of judges from here, and who knows, they may see things differently!” he added.
The ten finalists go through to the two evenings of high fashion at the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase at Greyville Racecourse on Thursday and Friday evenings, where another panel of expert judges will study the top ten student designers’ work and decide on the top three, which will only be revealed on the day of the Vodacom Durban July, Saturday 7 July.
Tickets are still available for the two Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase shows on Thursday and Friday, Online bookings are through the event website.
The ten finalists are Nosipho Ntuli (Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion), Chané Lange, Siphiwo Mkhwanazi, Nhlosenhle Cele, Tebogo Mokgope, Andile Nsele, Minenhle Memela, Mhlengi Mngoma, Georgina Brink, Gracious Lubisi (Durban University of Technology)