The State of the Fashion – The State of the Nation
Unfortunately I missed most of the T.V. screening of the ceremonial swearing in of the new cabinet, but I did catch a glimpse of some exotic moth-in-the-becoming: A sort of chrysalis in purple cling wrap, with lilac sequinned tulle floating around it. “What possessed the wearer? The designer should be shot!” was my first reaction. But I have changed my mind. Why not? I mean, let’s have fun! The only sane reaction to much else perpetrated by governments all over the world, in the name of their electorate, is hysterical laughter, so why take it all so seriously? Almost a year ago, in June 2013, the office of the ANC whip released a statement to the effect that the then parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance, Lindiwe Mazibuko was dressed inappropriately for Parliament and that her outfit (a paisley dress that ended above the knee, black stockings and a red jacket) lacked respect for the debate, and decorum of the house. You don’t say!
Fortunately no such protocols exist for red carpet events. Let’s look at some of the latest fashion statements: The DA’s Patty Duncan wore the flag; her husband a delightful tie that used the elements in an original design. The flag rather lends itself to de- and re- construction. For me it is one of the symbols of our freedom that we can enjoy our national flag without fear. Mandla Mandela was barefoot, and carried a spear. His wife Nodiyala wore a beaded outfit to match. Where else in the world would one find anything so authentic? I am so bored with variations of the Imperial dress code, that Mandla’s initiative charmed me.
At last somebody saw fit to dress Helen Zille, who supports local designers, in green. Her colouring lends itself to the cooler Titian hues, and I look forward to mossy greens and olive velvet soon. In the meantime, she looked great in a muted lime dress by Louis Designs, with fabulous beading done by Bead to Africa. Now if only Ms Zille will lose those frumpy glasses! Get some funky apple green Elton John round specs, or maybe some rich brown tortoise shell rectangles, please Helen. The DA blue is very unsympathetic to you too, so don’t take loyalty and visibility too far. If you absolutely have to, team it with some emerald.
The regal Baleka Mbete always delights with her eccentric and view-obstructing headgear. Thuli Madonsela, dignified as ever, was a goddess in a golden gown by King, while Lindiwe Mazibuko was the silver princess in a raw silk gown with a train, designed by Kat van Duinen. The coup, however, was Patricia de Lille who pulled off a white tuxedo style suit by menswear designers CSquad, cleverly worn with a colourful blouse.
But one of the fashion statements that must surely get the first prize, is Malema’s red beret! The quasi military aspect can be forgiven if it is worn lower on the forehead, the black piping just above the brow; the puffy bit should be tilted slightly to one side. It is neat yet stylish, the colour is gorgeous, it can be dressed up and down, can carry off a brooch on the flattened side, and translate into red and white shweshwe fabric for informal occasions. I am getting one tomorrow.
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This article originally posted on: www.first-for-women.co.za/ and reposted with permission.