Probably the most flamboyant event in the country, its time for the the J&B Met again.
As usual, there are three types of people who attend this showcase: those who love horse racing, J&B employees and the fashionistas – the latter being so prominent that they have changed the face of the annual extravaganza.
“Let’s be honest, we are never there for the horses,” said choreographer Somizi Mhlongo, a regular at the event.
“The Met has become more about bringing people together. It is an amazing culture that makes the fashion culture prosper. It has become a hub for young designers to bring in their creations and showcase them without a ramp or a pageant contest,” he explained.
Being a regular at the J&B Met and a moving fashion statement, Mhlongo was a perfect candidate as a presenter for SABC3’s live broadcast show on Saturday. Joining him will be TV’s “It” girl, Bonang Matheba, Top Billing’s Jeannie D and sports presenter Vaylen Kirtley.
“My job is to basically look for which celebrities wore what. The hits and the misses. I bring fabulosity to the event and I expect to see some good outfits on the day,” he said.
To show that the event is big on fashion, there is a theme every year that people need to adhere to. This year it’s Made To Fly and Mhlongo can already foresee disastrous interpretations.
“People should not take these things literally,” he said, laughing.
“We don’t want you to come there with wings and stuff. Think outside the box. What makes you fly? Bring something that you can identify with and you will be alright,” he clarified.
Since Mhlongo has been to many of these showcases, the man admitted that the trend is that the male celebrities who attend get it wrong fashion-wise.
“Guys are always in trouble. Actually, I am a bit sad for them because every year it always appears as if they just wake up and go with whatever. I wish they’d put some effort into it,” he said.
That said, a few regulars always get it right, year in year out, and he is glad they are attending again this year.
“I know my co-presenter will be looking fabulous even though I don’t know what she’ll be wearing. Unathi (Msengana) also knows how to dress so that is an obvious case. On the men’s side I’d say Donald will come to the party, I’m not sure about everyone else.”
Mhlongo, who is an authority on the subject of fashion will be dressed by top designer David Tlale.
“We started working on the concept last week and I am not sure what it is going to look like, but he (Tlale) never disappoints, so I know it will be fine,” he said.
While there will be horse racing, the live TV show will have various behind-the-scenes footage to make you feel as if you, too, have attended the Met.
Interviews will be conducted with those at the race and obviously with those who got it right and those who didn’t, and naturally that will make for some good conversation. To get these discussions going on a bigger scale join the Twitter hashtag on the day #MetOnSABC3 or follow @SABC3.
“We are very excited to broadcast live to the nation,” said SABC3’s marketing manager, Risuna Mayimele.
“The channel is offering the best of both worlds – fashion and racing – and we look forward to giving viewers an accurate and entertaining overview of the day’s activities,” she added.
• The J&B Met, live on SABC3 on Saturday, 2.30pm to 5.30pm.