Durban July Fashion – The last five years

One of the biggest trendsetters in the fashion industry is the Durban July fashion.

The Durban July is one of South Africa’s biggest annual events, attracting thousands of people to the racetrack to watch the highly anticipated races, show off their extravagant sense of fashion, and dig into some of the finest cuisine the country’s top chefs have to offer. Every year, the event’s fashion choices revolve around a central theme, giving participants the opportunity to show off their incredible creativity.

Durban July fashion

In 2010, the these was announced as following the tagline “It’s A Blooming Great Day!”.  The theme embodied various degrees of contemporary fashion trends, including elements of the green and organic movement, along with opportunities for designers to develop strong silhouettes and investigate an array of textured and fluid fabrics. It was a theme highly praised by designers, who spent months beforehand creating designs that dove straight into the heart of the heady, perfume-filled world of nature, flowers and the organic world.


2011 saw a celebration of the then hot topic of the Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. The theme, “A Right Royal Affair” saw the ordinary folks of South Africa seizing the opportunity to show off their fancy side, sporting some of the most elegant dresses, hats, gloves and over-the-top tuxedos the horses on the track had ever seen.


The theme for the 2012 event was all about the Green movement. Titled “A Material World”, the fashion of the highly anticipated day focused on making use of and incorporating recycled and recyclable materials to be moulded into fashion items. Many organic fibers, recycled newspapers, and quirky designs saw the light of day on that very special occasion.


In 2013, the aptly named “Posh, Oh My Gosh” themed event saw participants and newcomers alike seizing the opportunity to show off how many Bond movies they’ve watched. Incredibly sophisticated, sleek and expensive looking dresses flowed around every inch of the event, while gentlemen dressed in their swankiest tuxedos, swapping stories about the time they took their personal yacht around the world, and telling waiters to “shake, not stir” their martinis, even though they had no idea what the difference was.


The 2014 Durban July event takes a page out of “Old Hollywood”, centering the theme around fashion from “The Big Screen”, movies and celebrity culture. Chances are, we’ll see more outfits paying homage to The Great Gatsby than The Hunger Games, and more Casablanca than 21 Jump Street, but we’ll all hold thumbs and stay hopeful that someone watched Zoolander recently, because the fashion choices made in that movie were definitely eye-catching to say the least.

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