This year the Sun Met was attended by individuals covered in an array of complex patterns, bright colours and curvaceous silhouettes. “Style Ahead of The Field” encouraged Afro-chic fashion; only appropriate for such a standout showcase of style.
The predictable heat of Summer showed up; accompanied by an unforgiving wind which swept over the day with a vigour and relentlessness which caused dresses to dance and hats to fly. The cerulean blue of the sky and plump clouds created a serene setting for the 134th edition of the Sun Met. The layout and organisation of the event allowed for smooth coordination and an elegant experience. With the standards of event execution so high; attendees have a lot to look forward to and a lot to live up to.
“Style Ahead of the Field” implies Afro-Chic fashion, however; often when a “theme” is provided, many people engage in the most simplistic and literal way. Be aware of the cultural importance a specific outfit, fabric or accessory has. For the most part, “Style Ahead of the Field” was a sensory overload, but as always, the theme was ignored by many and a fail for a few. Luckily, it is the image of the dazzling success of the fashion forward that have ingrained their image into my memory.
This year there were differing levels of African inspiration amongst the strong prints and unapologetic bright colours. Some opted for more subtle touches, such as accessories or tonal pigment; where as some individuals chose striking dresses or mismatched suits. Traditional African wear made an appearance with layered beading and classic silhouettes. Many females went for sexy power looks, accompanied by oversized dark sunglasses; extremely on trend for 2018. Dapper looking gentlemen were a sight to be seen as they donned iconic fits, elevated by impressionable accessories. It is clear that the men took the details of a classic outfit and reinvented them; printed ties, suit pins, structured hats and silk scarves. It is clear that the elegance of the Sun Met has been infused with the creative flare of Afro-chic fashion.
My approach for event dressing involves incorporating a core piece of inspiration while still thinking long term about my pieces. As I enjoy creating, my shirt was sewn by mother and I; I wanted to embrace the theme but still respect cultural boundaries. I loved the tones of the shweshwe I chose and accessorized with matching warm browns. My bag is a unique star shaped piece that was handed down to me by a lovely 90 year old woman. I wore a red draped long sleeved polar neck gown with an extended trail. I have always liked the regal look of a layer over a polar neck; adding flare with the print of the shweshwe.
The 2018 Sun Met reflected the mix of tradition and innovation seen in South African fashion. The richest attire for “Africa’s richest race day”. Afro-chic is a loud yet elegant style; a style that it is timeless yet forever evolving.