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The DBN July Street Fashion Show will give you ideas of what to wear at the Durban July

The DBN July Street Fashion Show will give you ideas of what to wear at the Durban July. Picture: Supplied

The DBN July Street Fashion Show will give you ideas of what to wear at the Durban July. Picture: Supplied

Published May 30, 2022

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There are two seasons in Durban – the festive season and Durban July season. Both last for several weeks, are jam-packed with soirées, and sees people come into the city for a good time. But what the Durban July has more than the festive season, is that it's all about fashion, great food, and fun.

The last proper Durban July was in 2019. The events in 2020 and 2021 were muted occasions, that focused heavily on horse-racing.

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The excitement for this year's Durban July, which is now called the Hollywoodbets Durban July (HDJ), has started ramping up.

The DBN July Street Fashion Show will give you ideas of what to wear at the Durban July. Picture: Supplied

So to help attendees decipher the theme, “Show Me The Honey”, many fashion designers are hosting shows to give those attending an idea of what is expected of them.

Prince Thabiso Mkhize, of Prince Bespoke, is one of them.

The creative director and stylist, who is a go-to for many of Durban's well-healed and public figures, is hosting the DBN July Street Fashion Show, at the Durban Club Chambers, on Sunday, June 5, at 1pm, in the Durban CBD.

The show will feature garments by Prince Bespoke, Hadassah Creations, Rich Couture, and garments from the Durban Fashion Fair store. There will be performances by rising Durban musicians, Sanele Mkhize, Skywanda, and Siphelele Fuze. Attendees have been asked to stick to the all-black theme.

Prince Thabiso Mkhize. Picture: Supplied

IOL Lifestyle met up with Mkhize to talk about the show, the Durban July culture, and what needs to be done to resuscitate Durban's creative scene.

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After attending a model casting, Mkhize told us that the show was also about celebrating Durban's hidden gems and architecture that many don't realise is important.

“We are hosting the show on the street. The models will use Durban Club Place as the ramp, while the attendees will also be on the street. It's time we came back to our city centre and celebrated it's beautiful architecture," he said.

Mkhize has long felt like the local fashion industry has not taken advantage of the possibilities of Durban as a backdrop to their shows.

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“Hence we are calling it the street fashion show. It's on the literal street and we are celebrating Durban. The show is all about celebrating Durban and what it has to offer,” said Mkhize.

For the collection, Mkhize says while the HDJ is an inspiration, it's not the focus of his collection.

“I don't want to dwell too much on ‘Show Me The Honey’, but there will be elements of it so that those, who are struggling to decipher the theme, may find something to be inspired by. The idea is for those attending to see something they like, something they think they can wear at the HDJ, and order it – so we can have it in time for the event. Those lucky enough to be model-sized, will be able to purchase off the rack,” he said.

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Mkhize says this has been one of the most difficult themes to interpret for many.

“People don't want to be literal and go for the obvious. I hate to be literal. How we have ran with it is the shape of the honeycomb and textures. We have played with the smooth, velvety textures, that signifies both the bee and honey. There will definitely be garments that will pique everyone's interest,” said Mkhize.

Model agent, Derrick Mhlongo will be choreographing the show. Picture: Supplied

However, the most important thing about this show is also about addressing the pertinent issue of youth unemployment.

“It's Youth Month and many young people in the country are hopeless because of the unemployment rate. We see this as well in the creative space where talented youth, who feel like they do not have any agency and opportunities to make a living, let alone be a success, are dwindling.

“Many of us in the creative space lost our livelihood during the pandemic. So, with this show, I hope that it sparks a fire and inspires people to try again – to get that energy they need to go out there and remind themselves that they should not play second fiddle to other youth from Joburg and Cape Town.

“Durban has a thriving creative scene that just needs to be supported by Durbanites. And we have done that with this show – choosing models, hair and make-up artists, and entertainers from Durban. I feel like this show is now bigger than me and my brand. It's now about getting Durban-based creatives to collaborate and resuscitate the creative scene again,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize, like many of his peers in the fashion scene, has had to tap into the content creator industry in order to be able to stay in business, and counts brands like Bisquit&Dobouché as clients.

“It has led to some great partnerships, that have changed the way I approach my business, the brand, and the way we have positioned ourselves in the industry.

“Traditionally, Prince Bespoke is all about bespoke clothing, but we have realised that the market is leaning towards ready to wear and so we are doing more of those garments. To be more accessible to people and attract a new clientele that will then see us possibly convert them to our bespoke clients,” added Mkhize.

Tickets to the DBN July Street Fashion Show are available from WebTickets.

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