Karen Monk-Klijnstra capturing this year’s theme for models Emily Duke, Siyabonga Mhlongo and Danielle Visser. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad / ANA
Karen Monk-Klijnstra capturing this year’s theme for models Emily Duke, Siyabonga Mhlongo and Danielle Visser. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad / ANA

Excitement builds for a 'very different' Durban July

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Jul 4, 2020

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Durban – This year’s Vodacom Durban July will make history as it will take place behind closed doors, while the glamour and fashion extravaganza which makes #VDJ the place to see and be seen, will move into the virtual space.

With today traditionally the date, the event will now take place on July 25 at Greyville Racecourse, without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations.

And the country’s celebs, high-flyers and influencers along with fashionistas and those who enjoy a flutter will be sharing their #VDJ day on social media.

Vodacom will be holding a competition asking people to design masks which reflect the theme and fashion trends through social media. Fashion from 10 guest designers and eight emerging designers from the Durban Fashion Fair will be unveiled on the day via live-streaming from the course, with fans at home being encouraged to send in images which will be shared on social media and the live-stream - so there’s time to plan your own race day at home.

Designer Brenda Quinn with models from Extreme Model Management show off their bright butterfly colours. From left: Sune Charlton, Noluthando Dube and Samkelo Ndwandwe. 
Picture: Shelley Kjonstad / ANA

Channel O is set to host a pre-race day virtual party on Friday night ahead of the big day and a post-race Vodacom Durban July party on Saturday night.

The traditional gallops, which always provides a sneak peak for punters, will also be a closed-door event held at Summerveld Racehorse Training Complex on July 16 and screened on TellyTrack.

And with excitement starting to build, the first #VDJ fashion shoot took place at Summerveld on Thursday morning, with models strutting against a backdrop of the thud of hooves.

Well-known designer Madelain Clark said the “Butterflies” theme, which was decided prior to the pandemic, was appropriate as the world has been changing and evolving.

Designer Karen Monk Klijnstra who has been on the invited designer list for 22 years said: “We have all been cocooning like a butterfly. It’s about reinventing and renewal and soaring for new dreams and new possibilities.

Brenda Quinn said: “Obviously this July is going to be very different, there are going to be a lot of virtual fashion shows and social media. It’s an iconic event and will go down in history.”

Extreme Model Management MC for this week’s photoshoot, Ayanda Phakathi, said she was looking forward to the colour and diversity in designs.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how designers will express themselves during lockdown.”

Independent on Saturday

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