'Alien' superstars, tin foil dresses & flip flops! — Here's what went down at this year's Durban July
The 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July was a glamorous and star-studded event, proving once again why it remains one of the biggest events on the Mzansi social calendar.
The event brings together a few elements that are essential to any good time and this year was no different. When you make people dress up, give them a sport to observe, serve them food, drinks and loud music, then you have the makings of a great event on your hands.
That is why thousands of people flocked to Durban for the Hollywoodbets Durban July and it served all the right vibes!
KwaZulu-Natal-born Hollywood superstar Nomzamo Mbatha rocked up in a pretty red dress, which had no obvious links to the “out of this world theme” that everyone else attempted to follow but still looked stunning.
Fellow actress Jessica Nkosi, however, clearly worked hard to follow the theme. She rocked a puffed shoulder, white dress with purple sequins and beads. She told TshisaLIVE she was inspired by the milky way in her interpretation. The actress, who gave birth recently, won best dressed female according to the theme in the Hollywoodbets Champion’s Room.
Sticking to all things extraterrestrial, Lasizwe channelled the typical alien look made famous by Hollywood blockbusters and did an exaggerated bald cap, plus nude suit embellished with water drop shaped jewels. That outfit did not fare well on the social media streets but his confidence carried him.
Nandi Madida came through with alien but royal regalia. Even though she stuck to the over-done silver see-through fabric, the dress was a great fit and had lights — because load-shedding never leaves a South African's mind no matter what world they pretend to be in. She committed to her outfit and character so much so that she wore contact lenses and changed her speaking voice.
All in all, people showed up looking erm... mostly good and heavily inspired by Beyoncé's hit song Alien Superstar. There were a lot of hits and tonnes of misses. Some people followed the theme but forgot what event they were going to. Some left the heavy-lifting to weird silver and metallic materials (from tin foil to that foil-like car window sun shield), while others just whipped out what they could find in their closets, including dresses they’ve probably worn to a mcimbi somewhere.
There were a lot of different marquees which meant people would have different experiences depending on where they landed. A lil birdie said a certain marquee felt like a Nkabi tavern (If you've ever been to such a marquee, you know that's where people have the most fun). While another person said they had an innovative dinner experience in their marquee.
The celebs that showed up at the other marquees also tried to adhere to the “out of this world” theme but whether they hit the right notes depends on who you ask.
Durban July was definitely star studded and even people who aren’t famous looked like stars. Plus a few people also left the place richer than when they walked in, thanks to betting on the “right horse”. Pun intended — feel free to run wild with that one.
Barring the sometimes questionable decisions with regards to media treatment by the main sponsor, Hollywoodbets managed to throw in simple innovative ideas that set them apart for the people that occupied their marquees. As the thrilling races came to an exciting end, the high heels were beginning to make the female guests tired and irritable and by extension the men weren’t having a great time, Hollywoodbets ushers started handing out flip flops! I don’t have to explain what a brilliant move that was but I'll say that after everyone donned their purple flip flops, people neglected their plans to leave early and took to the dance floor.
The real magic of flip flops was seen as we walked back to our shuttles and cars at the end of the night, where we had it vastly different from guests from other marquees who had to avoid everything from broken bottles to spit, vomit and spilt alcohol on the tar road as they walked barefooted to their transportation.
It just goes to show, sometimes it's the little things that bag your brand a win.
Check out snaps of some of your faves:
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