Durban – At a glittering semi-final showcase at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Wednesday evening, 25 semi-finalists in the Hollywoodbets Durban July Young Designer Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair were whittled down to the 10 finalists.
The semi-finalists, who were selected from over 100 entrants on June 6, paraded their race-day designs inspired by this year’s “Out of this World” theme, while the judges had the tough task selecting just the 10, who now face a tense, but busy, two-week wait before the top three are named on July 1.
The Young Designer Award Semi-Final Showcase was an evening of high fashion that also included a Ready-To-Wear show. The crowd of fashionistas soaked up the creative interpretations of the theme and the intricate construction of their eye-catching race-day ensembles.
Once again the judges were impressed with the workmanship and creativity on show from the 25 semi-finalists.
“I was in their shoes a couple of years ago and the quality and the workmanship was just amazing,” said Sibu Msimang, one of the Hollywoodbets Durban July Invited Designers who was also tasked with helping chose the ten finalists. “I think the theme is very broad, so it allows them to go wild and I think they all did very well – but there were four or five that really stood out for me.“
One of the judges who found himself in a somewhat different role was former Bafana Bafana captain Teko Modise, who is also a Hollywoodbets Brand Ambassador.
“This was very unusual for me. It’s my first time for me to be judging a fashion show, but it was very interesting for me to look at the garments and how the designers play with the material … and the thought process behind their creativity. For me it is very refreshing and interesting,” said the two-time South African Footballer of the Year.
“I thought some of the designers really took it “Out of this World“. Then there were others who maybe, for me, stuck too close to the theme and went more simple and safe. I think those designers could have pushed it a bit more.“
The 10 finalists from design colleges across the province will now join some of the province’s top designers when they show off their stunning designs at Gateway’s Hollywoodbets Durban July Preview Fashion Show on June 23.
The preview show is the highlight of the month-long build up to the fashion extravaganza at the Hollywoodbets Durban July, and the student designers will show off their creations alongside the Durban Fashion Fair Rising Stars and the HDJ Invited Designers on 23 June at Gateway Theatre of Shopping; and then again in front of thousands of spectators on race day on July 1, where all the winners of the various fashion competitions will be announced.
The student finalists are vying for a share of R100 000 worth of bursaries from the Hollywood Foundation for the top three students, as well as other valuable prizes from Gold Circle, Schweppes, Gateway Theatre of Shopping and SA Fashion Week.
The ten Young Designer finalists are:
Nontuthuzelo Mbasa (Lindiwe Khuzwayo)
Andile Nsele (DUT)
Emmanuel Kucherera (Fezile Fashion Academy)
Thabiso Khethelo (DUT)
Minenhle Luvuno (Esayidi Fashion School)
Siphesihle Mkhize (Umgungundlovu TVET)
Lwandle Zwezwe (PMB School of Fashion)
Smangele Mbanjwa (PMB School of Fashion)
Hlonela Danisa (Umgungundlovu TVET)
Nokwanda Ndlovu (PMB School of Fashion)
2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July theme
OUT OF THIS WORLD
The heavens at night,
Purple skyglow, almost black.
The full moon so bright,
Wispy clouds seem laidback.
The planets in deeper space,
Vista pin-pricked by stars.
Spot one with an amber glow,
Could that be Mars?
Other planets out there,
Inspiringly colourful too.
Your imagination will run wild,
Focus on one that suits you.
Now come down to Earth,
Fashion, fun and entertainment,
And the latest equine millionaire.
More information can be found at https://www.hollywoodbetsdurbanjuly.co.za/