Photo: Ayanda Jukuja (left) snaps a selfie with Merushka Pillay at the first round of judging for the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair. Credit: Pierre Retief/Gameplan Media.
Despite the winter chill, the heat was turned up on the fashion season as a huge group of hopeful students converged on Greyville Racecourse hoping to make the semi-final round of the prestigious Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair.
Over a 120 students representing six fashion design colleges from across the province nervously packed into the Steward's Room, waiting for their chance to appear before the judges and explain their interpretation of the theme "It Is Time".
The panel of judges included well known Durban designers Terrence Bray and Sandile 'Duke' Mngadi, lecturer Greg Wallace, and Sindi Shangase from the Durban Fashion Fair, co-ordinated by Vodacom Durban July Fashion Programme director Tiffany Prior.
"It was a long and agonising session, but it was quite interesting, especially the interpretations of the theme ," said Shangase after the marathon judging session.
"Some designers were so close to the theme and some were so far off you could see that they didn't understand the theme itself.
"Some of the designers that were spot on theme were let down by poor execution, while others who missed the theme came forward with so really great execution in their garments," she added. "That made the judging tough."
She said that the depth and quality of the entry had made judging difficult, but left her inspired.
"It gives us hope in terms of the future that there are more designers come up and willing to join the industry."
The thirty semi-finalists will come before another panel of judges at the popular fashion show at Greyville Racecourse on Tuesday 19 June, where the entry will be reduced to ten finalists. Entry to the show is free of charge.
The finalists chosen for the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair are:
Makhosazana Ntshangase, Nonjabulo Shabalala, Nosipho Ntuli, Makhosazana Ntshangase, Siyabonga Phakathi, Tayla Simpson, Chané Lange, Kelly Knock, Zintle Poswa, Nicola Colyn, Nhlosenhle Cele, Babalwa Matiyela, Yowa Batubenga, Silungile Dlamini, Nhlakanipho Ximba, Alexandra van Heerden, Tebogo Mokope, Andile Nsele, Minenhle Memela, Thobile Dlamini, Kelly Love, Aaliah Docrat, Mhlengi Mngoma, Siyabonga Mahlaba, Georgino Brink, Masego Motseokae, Sicelinhlanhla Ngcobo, Gracious Lubisi.
More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za