The biggest social event in Durban is the Durban July, Africa’s richest horserace (or so the marketing says). It’s at this premier horserace that you’ll find yourself amazed at the lengths people will go to just to be seen. From the most outrageous outfits to the most glamorous, South Africa’s social elite throw everything at this event, no holds barred and seemingly no expense is spared either.
I last covered the July back in 2012 and even then I was quite shocked at just how big it is (that was the first time I ever attended the thing). Three years have passed and it seems like its even bigger than before. Now they even have multi-story marquees on the inner tracks where companies pay big money to entertain their high profile clients and other guests. Walking around the event is quite an ordeal and don’t even think of using the tunnel that goes under the track to get to the grandstand – you’ll find yourself in a human traffic jam that makes anything they have on Johannesburg roads pale in comparison. Actually, I think it’s a bit of a dangerous thing to allow so many people to use the tunnel concurrently because if there was a stampede it would most definitely end in tragedy.
I was working in one of the marquees for a high end whisky brand, so I can’t share those images with you, but here are some of the shots I got of the fashion show. I had hoped to get some photos of the actual horses for my gear sponsor, Olympus, but with the crowds and a bit of time delays on the client’s end for me to get set up in the marquee there just wasn’t enough time for that. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these few images of the fashion competitors.