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Vodacom Group

Majestic spectacle to reign over 2011 Vodacom Durban July

Friday, 13 May 2011

Durban - Unlock your bling, dust off your fascinators and re-string your mother's pearls as this year's Vodacom Durban July theme has just been announced as "A Right Royal Affair".

Interpretations of the annual Vodacom Durban July theme are displayed throughout the raceday programme, whether it be in the pre-raceday and on-track fashion, marquee décor or cuisine, all of which cement Africa's Greatest Horseracing Event as one of the hottest events on the country's calendar.

This year's theme "A Right Royal Affair", inspired by the two royal weddings scheduled for 2011, emulates opulence and class, whilst allowing room for varied interpretations, such as ethnic beauty or an eclectic perspective of royalty.

"Style, a whole lot of style," is what Toti designer Madelain Clarke is expecting at this year's event. "No plastic this year and wear comfortable shoes as it's not glamorous to walk around with no shoes on."

"I'm expecting various romantic or jewel coloured fabrics," said Clarke. "Rich fabrication using brocades, velvets or Chantilly lace, don't hold back this year on your fabric - spend!"

Popular Durban designer Kathrin Kidger believes this year's theme is quite thought provoking. "With the inspiration deriving from the topical royal weddings, we may see old or traditional design technique thrown on its head, in turn making royalty more accessible to the public," said Kidger.

"We are definitely going to see more hats this year, which is key in keeping with royalty," said Kidger. "This is the year where you could actually pull out your most fabulous outfit from your closet and throw on mom's pearls. Add a broach or divine sash detail and spend your money on a great hat!" she added.

Sophistication, modesty and glamour are the guidelines offered by designer Terrence Bray. "Not with a crown," said Bray referring to possible accessories he had in mind for raceday. He suggests the public make use of hats, gloves and handbags for the ‘Royal Affair'.

Fashion Programme Director Tiffany Prior urges all to consider the theme from a modern perspective. "There are key words used within the theme which need to be referred to, such as poise, elegance and grace," says Prior.

"When putting your garment together consider what you would want to wear as a modern day princess," added Prior. "Take some time to also look through the history of fashion for some clever ideas."

Eager designers who aim to stand out in front of the massive crowd on raceday are often encouraged not to take the theme too literally and rather look objectively at the theme, drawing inspiration from current fashion trends.

The fashion programme kicks off with the established Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge and the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award which involve university, technikon and design college students from across the country.

"The theme is set to sustain the wonderful energy of the Vodacom Durban July" said Portia Maurice, Chief Officer, Corporate Affairs, Vodacom." This will be the 10th year that Vodacom has sponsored this landmark event, and there is every reason to believe that the 2011 race day will be truly majestic".

The Vodacom Durban July Invited Designer Showcase provides a non-competitive platform for eight prominent designers to show their talent and interpretation of the raceday theme, at a number of glittering functions prior to the big raceday, and on Vodacom Durban July day itself.

The 115th running of the Vodacom Durban July takes place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday 2 July. More information can be found at


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