Punters were well and truly stunned when Jackson did not take the Vodacom Durban July crown, but Durban designer Tammy Sturrock was a sure winner from the start.
The 22-year-old’s interpretation of the theme, “A Material World”, stood out even when she competed with another 100 hopefuls at Greyville a couple of months ago to be selected for the semi-finals of the prestigious Young Designer’s Award contest.
But she had to wait until Saturday when the judges – including Miss South Africa Melinda Bam – declared her the winner.
“This is the first competition I have entered and I am so excited,” said Sturrock, a third-year fashion design student at Durban University of Technology. She has now vowed to enter other competitions.
She will be working for local designer Terrence Bray next year and a further possibility is a collaboration with her brother Brendon, a lecturer at a fashion college in Joburg.
Nika Couture won the avant garde competition. Its nautical-inspired dress had a full skirt made of number plates and was modelled by Kristelle Strydom.
The Exceptional Hat and Fascinator Contest was won by Julia Cronje. The Best Classic Racewear competition was won by Rose Khumalo for her demure cream dress that was intricately woven on the body, while the winners of the Most Striking Couple were Nikki and John Roux, who wore outfits designed by Nikki Roux.
Mmuso Mpilopai of Bloemfontein scooped the hotly contested Fashion Challenge title.
Local designer Brenda Quin, who showed off three outfits in the invited designer showcase, said she had “enjoyed every minute” of interpreting the “Material World” theme.
She cut a coat down into a jacket for one model and used the leftovers to create trousers for her male mode. She also converted an old duvet cover into a skirt. The male model’s outfit was “a mixture of everything”, and his white shirt was dyed a calico colour using tea bags. The skirt of another model was fashioned from old tablecloths, lace dresses and crochet doilies.
Accessories were old curtain tie-backs, converted floral displays from her bathroom, bracelets fashioned from old cotton reels covered with cardboard and buttons, and handbags converted into hats.
Designer Thabiso Mfaba chose, for his own outfit, bright red and green, complete with matching shoes.
“I believe every shoe should go with every outfit,” he said.
Pretoria designer Annike Badenhorst got attention with the handbags she made for herself and her model, Annike van der Merwe.
Their clutch bags were made from placemats, with lining and magnetic clips holding the contents in place.
These were among the many ways that racegoers, inspired by the theme, reused, remodelled and re-purposed outfits.