Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Recently I have noticed how South African television is replete with sartorial aberration. The continuum, in post Apartheid South Africa, for sartorialism seems to have gone from bad to worse. I have been able to make this observation because daytime TV has been showing pre-1994 comedies and dramas. Our male actors and television personalities are not as well dressed as their counterparts of old. I don’t know where it all changed however I can unequivocally state that there is a distinct difference in costume and wardrobe arrangements. I watch contemporary TV shows and I am uninspired. The only consistency is in how dull and ill-fitting the wardrobe is. The sartorially bright moments, which are far and few in between, are totally eclipsed by senseless monochromatic looks, 100% polyester jackets with bellows pockets and hooded waistcoats. I’ve heard time and again how what you see at fashion shows can’t be directly transferred to reality, what I see on S.A. TV though seems to tell me otherwise. Even the so-called lifestyle shows are suspect, in that they hide behind watered down casual looks that don’t stimulate the mind and are always bland.

Velaphi is an early 90s South African comedy starring Ray Ntlokwana, as Velaphi, who plays the part of a messenger for a print and ad company. Youthful ignorance would’ve blinded me to the stylish appearance of the actors, however ( and recently so) my sartorial curiosity was aroused when I noticed how well coordinated the wardrobe and costume were. Formal and casual outfits well placed and represented.

In this scene Vusi Thanda is dressed in a brown tweed herringbone jacket, white shirt, patterned navy blue bow tie, black pants and under the jacket, holding up the his pants a pair of braces. Stylish and sartorial correctness couldn’t be more apt. On the casual side the combination of a leather jacket, plaid shirt and knit tie is well represented. You’d have to see it for yourself to believe me, but I’m sure these images prove me right. A glimmer of hope, however, is offered by the news anchors on Etv.

No comments: