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SAMAs 'naked' dress battle: why Pearl Thusi slayed & Khanyi Mbau dismayed

30 May 2017 - 16:15 By Nothemba Mkhondo
Image: Via Twitter

This weekend’s South African Music Awards saw a 'naked' dress face-off as Pearl Thusi and Khanyi Mbau stepped onto the red carpet in sexy sheer dresses embellished with bling.

While Pearl was praised on social media for her look, Khanyi faced some fire from Twitter's fashion police.

"#SAMA23 @PearlThusi is officially the @Beyonce of South Africa She is so lit," declared @TheRealSim_Okip.

"Best dressed for me @PearlThusi and Thando #SAMA23," said @Lele_mkz.

"Khanyi Mbau in a visual representation of how the mighty have fallen. What the hell is this dress ... bathong ... Hideous. #SAMA23," tweeted @Red_Mos.

"Khanyi Mbau and showing off what's up with them nipples now. This is a family show tu,"  wrote @MikeyMashila.

And nipples, essentially, are why Pearl was the clear winner of this dress battle.

The secret to pulling off a 'naked' dress is to strike a balance between revealing and concealing skin. Look for a gown that skilfully covers the right areas of your body with the right amount of beading, crystals or lace.

Pearl showed just enough skin, whereas Khanyi’s exposed nipples were an absolute no-no.

A post shared by Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi) on



Just like with any other garment, fit is key. A 'naked dress' should look like your skin, so make sure the fabric hugs your body and falls in the most flattering places.

Pearl’s dress fit her like a glove; the nude shade of the material was also the perfect compliment to her skin tone.

The top and waist of Khanyi's gown, on the other hand, were ill-fitting resulting in a less than flattering overall look.

A post shared by Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi) on


Khanyi also failed in the underwear department; her choice of yellow high-waisted panties did nothing to flatter the dress or her figure.

While Pearl's nude underwear enhanced the illusion that her body was simply sprinkled with artfully-placed sparkles.

A post shared by Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi) on