Netflix announced at the 4th Annual South African Investment Conference that it is investing R900 million in the South African TV and film industry. “Netflix is committed to South Africa for the long term and we’re investing in talent both in front of and behind the camera,” said Shola Sanni, the company’s Director of Public Policy in sub-Saharan Africa. He went ahead to say that “Netflix will also develop and work with the industry to contribute meaningfully to the South African creative industry’s growth.”
“A BRIDGERTON AFFAIR”
South Africa’s socially elite went out in numbers to play at the “A Bridgerton Affair”. On March 26th, Miss South Africa and former Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi in partnership with Netflix, hosted a rather exclusive “A Bridgerton Affair”. It was a high society event at Inanda Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. Netflix’s promotional idea for Bridgerton Season 2 was to use South Africa’s key socialites, tastemakers, and personalities to host and recreate Bridgerton’s main characters at a high society event.
Some viewers still do not understand the connection or reason for an England filmed production to take place in South Africa of all countries. The biggest question, however, is the theme. What was the theme? After seeing photos on social media with no theme announced at the time viewers simply concluded that no one understood the assignment. However, a few days later we saw the theme as Netflix posted and boy did black Twitter gag at the looks!
THEME: BRIDGERTON ROYALTY; REGENCY WITH AN AFRICAN FLAIR
Here’s a little breakdown of the theme. From the “regency”, we get the 1800s fashion influence, which includes empire silhouettes, white hats, feathers, trims, and lace. In terms of accessories, short hair, shawls, and hooded overcoats were the trends of the era. The second part of the theme was “African flair”, this is an inclusion of all African fashion which is inspired by so many tribes and cultures in the African continent.
What we saw at A Bridgerton Affair were some guests taking the 1800s silhouettes and creating a contemporary deconstructed interpretation of classic pieces. While the majority got custom pieces, most of them totally missed the interpretation of the theme. Those who bought ready to wear, why even try right? Honey, we love giving nothing. What mostly went wrong was the overcompensation in the outfits.
THE HOST – QUEEN ZOZI TUNZI
The longest-reigning former Miss Universe, Zozi Tunzi, wore a custom David Tlale ensemble. She fulfilled her duties of playing the queen she already is as the host of the event. Zozi’s dress could double as a table where you could literally place your drinks while you dance the night away. David’s interpretation is based on the regency’s “empire style”. The use of silhouettes, feathers, and furniture styles is evident. Most viewers hated Zozi’s looks because the dresses looked unconventional.
Let’s see who understood the assignment and who should be banished by the queen from high society events. Here are some Wear and Tear outfits.
Thando Thabethe – Wear
Now when it comes to the theme and styling, Thando understood the assignment. The designer behind the masterpiece is her sister and she did not come to play. The custom white-feathered corset matched with white gloves and hat really show an attention to detail. And to top it off, her make-up is absolutely perfect!
Toke Makinwa – Wear
Tokstar is an African queen okay! If you follow this TV personality then you know she’s the queen of luxury, and gowns are her brand! She absolutely ate this look; we love the ball gown, the princess silhouette, and the styling. Definitely one of the best dressed of the high society event!
Khanyi Mbau – Wear
The queen of Johannesburg, Khanyi Mbau definitely stuck to the theme. Her Nigerian-inspired ensemble by Port of LNG stole the show! The stunning cut and finishings of the dress highlight the whole look and her gele makes a bold statement that turns heads!
Sharon Ooja – Wear
She killed this look! Her designer absolutely listened and thought this theme through. The use and fusion of Ankara fabric and the beaded satin overskirt is absolutely gorgeous. She wore this dress gracefully, an absolute fave!
Rahama Sadau – Wear
Now, this is a guest who is obviously one of the very few people who actually watch Bridgerton. Rahama may not have anything “African flair” but this look screams regency and we absolutely love it!
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi – Wear
Miss Lady Nambitha’s designer, Imprint, seems to have put a lot of thought into this gown. With the theme named “Regency with African flare,” the actress opted for a more visual look. The printed visuals on the fabric represent deep ethnic drawings of the Xhosa nation. We love the bell sleeves which give this dress that royalty finish.
Lalela Mswane (Miss SA 2021) – Tear
The fact that a Miss South Africa has to even be discussed on the bad outfits list is cringing. Lalela wore a red tulle dress with some beaded work and feather finishings. The dress doesn’t look like it sat right on the body, the tulle train could’ve just been left off because it makes the whole cut and silhouette just wrong.
Sihle Ndaba – Tear
Not much to say here, the whole leather fabric was a bad idea, and the designer deciding to make a full leather look for a royal High society event was even worse. The styling is a story for another day. Sihle can do so much better!
Michelle Mosalakae – Tear
Miss Michelle is a goddess, okay? But sometimes even our fairy godmothers do let us down! The skirt is overly full, the top design might’ve worked but the skirt volume? She’s swallowed up!
Zikhona Sodlaka – Tear
Long story short, Miss Sodlaka is doing too much with this look! The silhouette might have worked, but chile the fusion of fabrics, that unnecessary lace on the bust, the black mesh?? Don’t even get me started on the headwrap and the gloves!
This event was attended by some of the most elite people in South Africa, so the guest list was absolutely perfect. However, there’s much room for improvement in terms of how guests should honor themes. Keep things simple when you can’t break down a certain theme. Lastly, always research, this is so vital!