Young designers reach for the stars

Young designers reach for the stars

Durban – Fashion design students on Tuesday gave starry-eyed fashion followers an ‘Out of this World’ preview of the glitz and glamour that will be on show at the Hollywoodbets Durban July on July 1.

Tuesday’s opening round of judging in the Hollywoodbets Durban July Young Designer Award presented by Durban Fashion Fair was the first time fashionistas officially saw interpretations of the Hollywoodbets Durban July theme – and the class of 2023 did not disappoint with some stunning creations based on the ‘Out of this World’ concept.

The five judges were clearly impressed with the standard on show at Hollywoodbets Greyville Race Course on Tuesday and fashion programme director Tiffany Prior was not shy with her praise of the young designers.

“This year was extraordinary, students did an amazing job of researching the theme and executing their ideas with attention to detail and quality,” said Prior, soon after the judging was completed. “We saw such a range of work and I honestly feel it was the most diverse group of students I have seen. Colleges and their students should be so proud of the work they presented today.”

Judge Vuyi Ngobese from the Hollywood Foundation was excited to see the quality workmanship from the young designers.

“Today’s judging session was ‘Out of this World’ as anticipated,” said Ngobese with a laugh. “All the designers showcased wonderful pieces. It was hard for us to pick, but obviously we had to scale down to 25 designers and their designs. They showed off great workmanship, they paid attention to detail, and all those selected had great finishes.

“The ones we have selected had spectacular outfits made for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, so it was really exciting to be part of the judging session today.

“I think the public will be proud of the semi-finalists we selected today. It was tough … really tough getting from over 100 entrants down to just 25. But it was really rewarding at the end of the day to see how excited the designers were when they were selected.

“Big ups to the fashion schools who have imparted so much knowledge to the designers we saw today.”

In this initial round, the five judges were tasked with selecting 25 semi-finalists from an entry list of almost 100 fashion design students from various design colleges across KwaZulu-Natal. The young designers were required to present a race-day ensemble that encompasses the spirit of the 2023 theme.

The 25 semi-finalists will show their work once again at Gateway on June 14 where 10 finalists will be announced. These top ten will show off their interpretations at the Hollywoodbets Durban July Fashion Experience Preview Gala at Gateway on June 23 and on stage at the Hollywoodbets Durban July, where the top three student designers will be revealed.

The top three students will receive prizes to the total value of R70 000 from Gold Circle, Schweppes and Gateway Theatre of Shopping; and the Hollywood Foundation will also be awarding a total of R100 000 worth of bursaries to the winner, second and third-placed students. The college attended by the winning student will receive a R30 000 grant from Gold Circle to develop their design students.

The 25 semi-finalist are: Nontuthuzelo Ndongeni (Lindiwe Khuzwayo), Zama Mambi (Esiole Fashion School), Andile Nsele (DUT), Nolwazi Mthimkhulu (Lindiwe Khuzwayo), Julia Whitby (DUT), Simbarashe Kucherera (Fezile Fashion School), Philiswa Ntozalche (Esayidi Fashion School), Thabiso Ncanana (DUT), Minenhle Luvuno (Esayidi Fashion School), Mhlengi Nhlela (Fezile Fashion School), Cebo Xaba (Lindiwe Khuzwayo), Mhloliseni Ndlovu (Umgungundlovu TVET), Luyanda Khumalo (Umgungundlovu TVET), Bongumusa Bhengu (Umgungundlovu TVET), Linda Ngwana (Umgungundlovu TVET), Siphesihle Mkhize (Umgungundlovu TVET), Sanele Mkhize (Umgungundlovu TVET), Lwandle Zwezwe-Lubisi (PMB School of Fashion), Nosibusiso Mbali (PMB School of Fashion), Smangele Mbanjwa (PMB School of Fashion), Smethemba Shibase (PMB School of Fashion), Hlonela Danisa (Umgungundlovu TVET), Okuhle Mzimba (Umgungundlovu TVET), Nokwanda Mdlovu (PMB School of Fashion) and Simngaye Zuma (Umgungundlovu TVET).

To see the designs of the 25 semi-finalists: CLICK HERE

To see behind-the-scenes images from the judging: CLICK HERE

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