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January 22, 2013

J&B Met 2013: Tanki Em’s guide to being Made To Fly

The J&B Met theme, Made to Fly, is sure to inspire hundreds of gorgeous dresses and more

Oh my. It's that time of the year where classic style and fashion are put aside for the celebration of avante-garde looks and one-of-a-kind garments that are either custom-made for the J&B Met, happening at the Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday 2 February, 2013 – or dramatically altered retail store dresses and tresses which make the cut for this annual themed horseracing event.

The J&B Met is one of the biggest fashion and horseracing events in the country – and no doubt one where celebrities, designers, and socialites flock together to ooh and aah over the cheeky, elaborate and over-the-top garments on display. Granted, it is a day for the races as well, but one has to admit that the fashion takes over and wins the race from start to finish.

I have always found difficulty in working with the J&B Met themes but this year's theme, Made to Fly, does actually present an air of extravagant fashion opportunity. That said, I thought of birds and feathers when I heard the theme, but I also realised that current trends might work towards the idea of looking both fashionable and themed.

What to wear ...

First of all, DO NOT WEAR a pencil heel shoe – the racecourse is a predominantly grass and sand walk-about. The best shoes to wear are flats, wedges and sandals …

Now that that's out the way, the dresses. I have noticed that some are not about comfort, so I’ll briefly say it: try to wear something outstanding yet comfortable. If it’s too short, too tight and too small around the bust area, then you will spend more time fixing it than enjoying the day. There are ways to wear noted trends in feather style looks; as with the images here, you can consider a number of looks. I played around with the 60s swing dress idea, the peplum, the cheeky cocktail dress, the mermaid cut and the ball gown.

The mini 60s-style swing dress is really just a modern dress styled with the idea of a 60s look. A hot short dress with a sequin bodice and an ostrich feather skirt works just fine; style it with a headpiece, pearls and long lace gloves, and you pretty much have the look to a T.

The peplum is a trend that people took time to warm up to, and I know that most bloggers in fashion would like to see it go. Try it one last time at the Met: whether it's a peplum dress or an elegant two-piece skirt and top, you will not go wrong if you add a few details with statement jewellery and a small detailed headband.

The sultry cocktail look is basically for the risqué; it's about having that edge and playing around with it.  You can go for the loose, fitted cocktail dress or the sexy fit cocktail feather look, understanding that it might be hot and a bit summery. If it has a dipping open back, then add some art to your back with some temporary tattoos or actual paint art. I think the cocktail dresses will win both for comfort and sassy style.

Then, we have the mermaid cut design, an elegant long dress that flairs out from the knee, creating that mermaid-like look. Detail the bottom with feathers, which add more volume, and you just might be a maiden who is Made to Fly.

Where to get it ...

Get your J&B Met headgear at Black Cake

Local designers like Gavin Rajah, Kluk CGDT, Stefania Morland and Hendrick Vermeulen design the best, one-of-a-kind garments in Cape Town. House of Fashion stocks pieces that are original and also limited in range. Since we are running out of time, the best bet would be House of Fashion, which is situated in Loop Street in the City Centre. And for hats and headpieces contact @BlackCakeJM via Twitter – they are your best friends for the headpieces game.

With most looks for such events, it's best to have them custom-made. You do not want to end up wearing a dress similar to someone else's. If you pop into a retail store, try reinventing the look you bought by adding some feathers to it, or having feathers printed onto your dress. I like the printing detail more than the tedious work of having to individually add feathers to a dress.

When you have your dress sorted, everything becomes a breeze – so see you all at the races!


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