When all is said and done: The J&B Met 2014

 “Always dress like you’re going to see your worst enemy.” — Kimora Lee

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Me, at The Terrace B&B where I prepared for the day’s proceedings.

[Picture taken by Ludwe Kobo for Hy-Se-Sy-Se Magazine]

I sometimes get philosophical about clothing. I wax poetic lyrics about the beauty and duality of it all. I sometimes wallow in self-misery at the things I cannot afford, or stew in a vat of pity at the fates decision to not will me a walk-in wardrobe to fill the ache.

However, when all is said and done, and the reality hits, I realize how fortunate I am to learn to build a personal style unique to me, and molded from an unshakable foundation of frugality and keen insight. Through my mothers rearing, watching her use what she had to wear sophisticated and crisp attires, I learned that you can never fail with simplicity. Through watching movies, calculating my spending, keeping tabs on sales and predicting trends through cross-correlating motifs, I imagined a style that is the very epitome of me. Born from the pages of antiquated magazines, portraits of esteemed Western woman, the intricate detailing of cinema wardrobe designers etc. I have learned a state of fashion I am content to follow and teach to others.

Mine is not a style of convention, as is evidence by the attires I don to events I go to.

On the 01st of February I went to a premiere outdoor horse-racing event called the J&B Met, an annual occurrence in South Africa’s most prominent metropolis Cape Town.

I could readily describe this year’s Met as the most horrid I’ve been to of the 3 I have attended.

As a media rep, I get to see what others don’t. Kenilworth media liaison Jenna Adams was the saving grace in a sea of uncertainty and snooty brand representatives from Sunglass Hut and J&B. The media center provided by Kenilworth was a refreshing stop from the hustle and bustle of the main event. In its entirety, the even was redundant. Attendees lacked their usual vibrancy, deciding on street wear and complacent attitudes to get them through the day.

Regardless of names, when it comes to fashion at the Met, one expects a certain caliber of apparel to be worn. Little effort was put into most outfits, some choosing laymen comfort over translating the theme “Made to Conquer”, into something wonderful. I witnessed scary jumpsuits straight from the feathered friends on Sesame Street, and tacky shiny Satin donned in a way that does nothing for a large persons silhouette.

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From left: Minnie Dlamini, Uyanda Mbuli and Lalla Hiryama

At some point somebody decided that large headpieces were a go and so I, along with the likes of Uyanda Mbuli, wore some eye-catching pieces. Mine was an outfit designed by Luiz de Laja of Ministry. Last year I took the theme “Made to Fly” and a wore feathered skirt with a huge raven on my shoulder.

This year I asked Luiz for me to tap the line between costume and the regalia of old. I wanted Cersei Lannister of “Game of Thrones” to inspire my clothing because that HBO show is one of the worlds greatest period television shows and it boasts a cast that best exemplifies what it means to conquer and to be victors.

My headpiece was inspired my fencing – the idea of a sport not many dabble in, also considered a “rich mans sport” by some as its roots lie in aristocracy. The color palette being royal blue was a happy coincidence.

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[Picture taken by Ludwe Kobo for Hy-Se-Sy-Se Magazine]

Due to the nature of drama in my ensemble, and the close translation of the theme, I made it onto many publications. Some of which include BBC , Grazia Magazine and the Sunday Times.

PicMonkey Collage

Grazia Magazine

2014s J&B Met was clearly an attempt at highlighting the transformative properties of antiquated fashion fads into something acceptably quintessential, but somehow also a contemporary juxtaposition within this context. There was no innovation this year, unfortunate considering that that should be a prerequisite of every collection designers dole out. Minnie Dlamini’s outfit could best be described as the way in which hipster aliens would interpret Hollywood red carpet trends.

However Lerato Kganyago stood out in David Tlale’s pink creation- a china-patterned design fit to form-fitting floor-length pink chiffon (something eerily reminiscent of Gert-Johan Coetzee’s “Pink” Collection).

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[Picture taken Vuzu Entertainment]

Bonang Matheba cut-and-pasted the Dolce & Gabanna S/S 13 runway looks with her jeweled-up Baroque and simultaneously Byzantine gold crown,dress,shoes and scepter.

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[Picture taken by Ludwe Kobo for Hy-Se-Sy-Se Magazine]

Menswear both redeemed and stagnated the flow of  energy at the event. Clashing prints, ghastly jewelry, unseemly shaped costumes were the order of the day. Some celebrities like Maps and Stoan excelled far beyond the rest, harnessing their inner Bond’s in crisp tailored suits the likes of Tom Ford with Paul Smith pastel tones.

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Maps,Stoan,Janez, Somizi,Johnathan and Siv Ngesi.

The annual equestrian event was a bust this year, falling from it’s previous might.

I do hope next year brings it’s attendees more vibrancy.

Till then: await the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Johannesburg coming soon.

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“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” —Vivienne Westwood

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