I received one of the more exciting phonecalls of my life about this time last year. The lady on the line wanted to know if I would be interested in free tckets to MTN Durban Fashion Week! Fashion Week! Of course, I coolly replied that it sounded like fun and began checking my email every five minutes to see if my tickets had arrived.
I have a boyfriend who is always willing to indulge my whimsies and quite happily agreed to go. I spent a some time debating the merits of various floaty frocks (yes, still quite appropriate attire in late June in Durban) but alas, the weather turned rainy. As my mother always tells out-of-towners, who for some reason think that she is Metro Weather, the only time that Durbs gets chilly is when it is wet.
The big night arrived and I spent some time out on my balcony in the least floaty of the floaty frocks before settling on my faithful River Island jeans and my “England” coat, which is, at least, a delicious shade of cerise, actually the exact colour of a pink jube-jube.
My man and I arrived at Suncoast Casino and were treated to sushi, samoosas and sleight of hand by the barman who should enroll at Cape Town’s School of Magic. Not sure if he was hired by MTN to do the tricks or if they got more than their money’s worth, but he was brilliant and made the whole experience worth it for Brett.
After a happy hour eating, drinking, oooing and aahing, we were escorted into the Suncoast Sundeck marquee. I had speculated all week as to what people would wear to Fashion Week. I mean, let’s face it, women worry about what to wear to a Saturday afternoon braai let alone to an event where fashion is literally the focus. I was not disappointed. There were several women, who clearly had not tested their floaty frocks on their balcony, standing shivering and making me grateful for having kept the “England” coat on my return from the wet island. Many women were in jeans and coats but had made up for not being able to strut about in their finest by sporting a vast array of accessories, some in fabulous taste and some, well, not. Many women were daring enough to try cacophonously clashing colour combinations which just crashed whilst others used the unusual to unusually good effect.
We were finally sheparded into the main venue and escorted to our seats which were sadly not in the front row squashing my dreams of seeing myself in tomorrow’s Heat in the manner of Madonna, Posh, Katie and other A-List fashion fetishists. When I shared my disappointment with my man he admitted to being relieved that we weren’t in the front row so that he did not actually have to look fascinated the whole time.
The catwalk was parallel to us with the cameras at the T. The models walked down the ramp looking straight at a giant television screen projecting real-time images of their strutting. I imagine this must have been quite off-putting but they seemed to handle it extremely well. I do hope that some of them got a bit of a shock at just how thin they were when they were forced to stare at giant moving pictures of themselves, but I’m not holding my breath that they’ll have a bit more meat on them this year. The man perked up noticeably when one of his aquaintances came striding down the ramp in the latest men’s trends.
I had had high hopes for the fashion I would encounter on the ramp at a real fashion week showing and I was not disappointed. Items that I could never pull off anywhere but in my dreams were there along with more down to earth pieces, that although probably out of my lowly teacher’s salary price range, certainly provided me with some inspiration for my own wardrobe.
The show was over far too quickly – in fact I refused to leave immediately in case it was an interval. Unfortunately, it was indeed the end and I found myself walking to the car with my chest thrust decidedly forward, sorely tempted to stop and pose at the end of each row of cars in the parking lot.
This year I am not going to wait for free tickets, I am already planning my outfit: both a floaty frock and stylish winter woolies!