'Black Panther' should inspire politician's Sona fashion choices

15 February 2018 - 14:23 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Mandla Mandela and his wife Nodiyala at the 2017 State of the Nation address in Cape Town.
Mandla Mandela and his wife Nodiyala at the 2017 State of the Nation address in Cape Town.
Image: Ruvan Boshoff

Fashion and trend gurus reckon the State of the Nation Address (Sona) will come with a wave of African couture – Black Panther style.

Did fashion designers stab pins into their own eyes after working overtime to get Sona outfits ready‚ only to receive news of the grand event’s postponement?

Sona is expected to take place tomorrow after a flurry of political activity‚ which eventually led to President Jacob Zuma stepping down on Wednesday night. How will all this turmoil affect the choice of outfits?

Fashion trend analyst Craig Jacobs declares that 2018 is the year of “African pride”.

He points out that style trends from key international events like New York Fashion Week were inspired by the upcoming blockbuster superhero movie Black Panther.

“We cannot discount the influence of a movie like Black Panther in shining the spotlight on an African sensibility‚ so we are hoping our politicians do take up that torch‚” Jacobs said.

“Yes‚ Mandla Mandela does show the way when it comes to traditional attire‚ but I hope that politicians like Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba will add a bit of an African flavour to their suits.”

He said it would be refreshing to see the men brave enough to wear a bolder shade of blue or green‚ rather than the typical sea of navy blues‚ greys and blacks.

“I’m hoping that Cyril Ramaphosa doesn’t go the boring route and wear another red tie. Yes‚ we know it worked for Obama (and even Trump has a predilection for the shade) but let’s try to be a little more original. Why not orange‚ which symbolises change?” added Jacobs.

Paledi Segapo‚ an award-winning fashion designer and celebrity stylist‚ believes that going sheer is what’s fashionable – now and forever.

“Fashion is short-lived‚ style is eternal and in-born. I never encourage people to pay particular attention on fashion but style‚” Segapo said.

He encouraged supporting local designs.

“I don’t think there’s a golden rule cast in stone as to what people will be wearing. All I know for a fact‚ everyone enjoys looking beautiful and comfortable.”

Segapo said he has clients who will be wearing his designs at the event.

“It will be interesting to see how ministers interpret the state of affairs through the choice of fashion‚ if it will even be a consideration. South Africa being such a vibrant nation‚ I expect to still see bright and colourful regalia‚” said fashion designer Sylvester Falata.

“In as much as there’s a lot of uncertainty‚ I know that we are an optimistic nation and we will see some of that displayed on the day.”

Luckily‚ Falata and others were done with their garments ahead of the first Sona date.