The Sun Met goes Afro-chic


Johannesburg - The crème de la crème of the country’s entertainment industry, fashion fundis, businesspeople and politicians will gather at the annual Sun Met horse-racing event next weekend, which is expected to attract at least 25 000 racegoers this year.

The event is bigger than ever this year.

VIP guests will rub shoulders with world-renowned Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in his capacity as GH Mumm’s newly appointed “CEO” – “chief entertainment officer”.

The 134th edition of the Sun Met – celebrated with Mumm Champagne – will be hosted by TV personality Minnie Dlamini and Bolt.


This is one of the biggest and richest horse-racing events on Cape Town’s social calendar.

It will be held at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, 27 January.

There are rumours that another famous international star will be in attendance – but that will be announced only on the day.

Rob Collins, group strategy and operations officer at Sun International, said: “We, with our partners, plan to deliver another remarkable day out for all our attendees that will top last year’s success.”

Sun Met is not as huge as the Vodacom July horse-racing event, with fewer marquees and the most expensive ticket costs a mere R4 495 for the Circa Winning Post Pavilion marquee.

But it offers full-service catering, cocktail lounge seating, complimentary bar (excluding Champagne) and access to the afterparty celebration.


This year’s theme, Style ahead of the Field or Afro-Chic, encourages racegoers to wear lots of colour and African prints to embrace their cultures.


City Press spoke to a few celebrity designers to interpret this year’s theme.

Ole Ledimo, a celebrity designer from House of Ole, told City Press this week that he will showcase his craft at the event.

“It will be interesting to see how designers interpret the theme, without being too obvious with African prints and doeks.”

His advice for gents is to wear short and wide pants and maybe opt for a clean look, like a tuxedo suit because it’s always safe for any occasion.

The women should avoid ball gown dresses: “This year we want to see ladies swapping their dresses and skirts to a tailored suit,” he says.

Popular celebrity designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, who will dress TV darling Minnie Dlamini, feels that this year’s theme is not complicated.

Without going into the details of Dlamini’s outfit, he says it will bring out “the African goddess and the African diamond” that is in her.

Fashion designer David Tlale advises partygoers to wear something comfortable.

“As the David Tlale brand, we have the flowing organza African print dress with a low back which could be absolutely perfect for the day [accessorise with chunky].

“Headwraps are absolutely beautiful – but just be careful that you don’t put on a big headwrap because it might get too hot on the day.

“Keep it simple and play around with the evolution of African prints,” he says.

Tlale says men should “opt for the African print pants and a beautiful white shirt and a bow tie or cravat, with some white sneakers to dress down for the day”.

He says as a reference, people should look at what they have done for Spree Online with Umbhaco, trimmings of different colours and African prints.

Then add beautiful hats made of African prints or even trimmed with African prints.

For footwear, Tlale advises people to wear comfortable shoes, such as wedges, flats, sneakers, and to “stay away” from heeled sandals because there’s a lot of walking.

“You don’t want your feet all brown and dusty at the end of the day. There’s nothing as unsexy as dirty feet. Keep it tidy and tight,” he says.

Designer Sello Medupe of Scalo, who will dress TV personality Lalla Hirayama, actress Thuli Phongolo and others, interprets Afro-chic as sophisticated African street style.

He advises people not to do ordinary literal bold prints, but be more creative and play around with the print.

“Afro-chic is not complicated especially if it’s outstanding and well put together.”

(Photo: Supplied/City Press)

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