State of the Nation glamour

By Francis Hweshe

Cape Town – It was all about red, green, black and a splash of colour at this year’s opening of Parliament. Members of Parliament (MPs) were dressed to the nines, with some going a little over the top in their fashion sense.

While some could be forgiven for their outrageous taste, some clearly needed the help of the fashion police.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe kept things sensible in a formal black suit, and added a splash of colour in the form of a teal tie.

Democratic Alliance leader, Helen Zille, looked amazing in a dark purple, dark green and burnt orange outfit designed by Hendrik Vermeulen, describing it like the “sun rising over False Bay”. She paired it up with burnt orange wedges and a purse to match.

“I bid and won this dress at a fund raiser for the Sunflower Fund. It is a spectacular design. Hendrik Vermeulen spent a lot of time with me and basically designed the dress onto my body.”

President Jacob Zuma’s Special Advisor on International Relations, Lindiwe Zulu, wore a green, gold and black number which she said was inspired by the colours of the African National Congress (ANC).

Zulu described her dress as “a typical Ethiopian traditional outfit”. “I bought it during a recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa,” she said.

ANC MP Mduduzi Manana, who wore a bright coloured suit made by South Africa’s go-to designer David Tlali, said his attire represented hope for the country. “The President will give us hope in his speech tonight,” he said.

Another ANC MP Nomhle Dambuza, who shared the red carpet with her daughter Thandiswa, enjoyed the limelight in her bright blue outfit.

“I like bright colours. It gives hope to our people,” she said, indicating that as MPs, they should be ready to deliver on what Zuma was going to tell the nation.

Congress of the People (Cope) MP Graham McIntosh drew the attention of the media when he strutted his stuff on the red carpet wearing a traditional Scottish outfit.

He said he had decided to dress like that because he came from KwaZulu-Natal where people liked to wear their traditional attire.

Kwaito stars Chomee, Arthur Mafokate and AJ (Arthur’s son) also arrived in style, with Chomee attracting most of the attention in her brightly coloured body-hugging outfit.

“I took what I already had and made it work for this evening. It’s sexy but conservative at the same time,” she said.

Rachel and Dali Tambo came in wearing coordinated outfits, with Rachel in a black and white Sun Goddess Xhosa inspired outfit and Dali kitted out in a black outfit.

Said Rachel: “I’ve always worn traditional Xhosa outfits, but I chose a more modern look this year.” Her heels were the talk of some of the ladies; black, with red, pink and dark blue lining.

ANC MP Pinky Mncube wore a red outfit that some would describe as just a tad over-the-top. She brought along her niece Buhle Mncube, who beat her in the fashion stakes with a dark red and green traditional outfit she designed herself.

Said Mncube: “Last year I wore a [Tsonga] inspired outfit. This year I decided to go with a Western look. When I saw this red outfit it said ‘wow, take me’.”

Chairperson of the Police Portfolio Committee, Sindi Chikunga, wore an Eastern inspired out. She wore a red and gold sari, complete with the bling. She said she wanted to “look South African”.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille looked stunning in a red pantsuit with a floral shirt from the House of Monatic.

Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA parliamentary leader, beamed in an elegant sleeveless V-neck dress, saying she was aiming for a “fun look”.

While some may have completely missed the mark in the fashion stakes, many managed to prove the critics wrong and dressed to kill. – BuaNews

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