The 2020 Sunmet

Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa the Met was one of the most glamorous events of the year. I would see all the highlights of the weekend in the newspapers and on TV. It’s always been the event for designers to publicly showcase their work on models and celebrities to the public at the Kenilworth Racecourse Track.

The event has also always been open to the public with attendees donning up in their best to enjoy the day of glamour. It has never occurred to me to attend it personally. I have been living abroad for a really long time and even when I started my fashion and travel blog it never occurred for me to attend. So, I decided just 3 week prior to the event to finally go. However, what was I to wear?

The Theme

sunmet 2020 african luxury visionaries
Image from Sunmet

The theme for 2020 was African Luxury Visionaries. It’s quite broad but like most, you’d want to incorporate something authentically African into your look right?
I’m not a celebrity nor an influencer. I’m actually someone who works full time in an office in the corporate world but loves the fantasy and world of fashion and my blog represents that side of me. With that being said, I was not prepared to splurge on a designer ball gown.

My Inspiration

So in a previous blog post, I had recently went on my very first safari trip to the Kruger! It was an unforgettable experience and I decided that was going to be my inspiration. I personally had always wanted a zebra print dress and I thought this was the occasion to make it happen.

I have not designed a dress since my matric ball. I usually know exactly what I want so it came down to choosing the right dress maker with the right experience and me picking the fabric. So one weekend I went to Fabric World (which I LOVE by the way) in Wynberg here in the Southern Suburbs of the Cape. I found the right print, bought 2 metres of it from it and went to find a dress maker. I wanted a dress that was smart-casual. I wanted to be able to wear it again for events and even for work.

The one thing I love about my community is the amount of skill the people have here. Once South Africa had a flourishing textile and apparel industry which sold goods in retail to boutique. These skilled people have now long retired (or left the country) and many now offer personal services from home. My neighbour worked as a seamstress then dress maker for a fashion house that made clothes in Cape Town city. She had made dresses for high-end customers in a private boutique and had made for the Met back in the 1960s. She was the perfect candidate.

sunmet zeba print dress make

What about the Hat?

Going to the Met always meant you had to wear a hat. While that trend is slowly fading from the event, I thought it added a nice touch but going to milliner today is pricey. Once again, I was fortunate enough to actually know someone in my neighbourhood who worked in a hat factory and knew a lot about millinery. I always remembered her as stylish growing up and she always looked chic. As a child I remember her living room being filled with hats of all kinds she would bring home and prepare for showcase events in the city!

Now last year I had scored a bargain at a small antique store here in the southern suburbs with small straw sailor hat. The hat was dirty so I was stupid enough to give a wash. The whole hat literally flopped in. I went to my neighbour with the ruined hat and some left-over fabric and asked her if she could salvage it. She said that all I needed to do was leave it with her. This was the final result!

zebra print hat


The Sunmet 2020

So my outfit was sorted and the day had arrived for the Met. The event was done really well. With beautiful decorated backdrops set up around the entrance to help accentuate the mode du jour. It was a total coincidence that I matched this zebra wall.

sumet scholtz buys 1

sunmet scholtz buys 2

After that you would enter the red carpet, it was busy with attendees lining up to get in their shot.

American Swiss Jewellers offered free gin and tonic ice lollies and photo opportunities in its tent. You could watch the fashion shows on the runways while the glamorous guests paraded around the racecourse track.

sunmet american swiss

sunmet main field

Overall, this is a really fun event with an emphasis on glamour and fashion. After the racing is over for the day, the crowds can enjoy the big after-party with a fantastic line-up of DJs. Every year the event is hosted by a famous champagne or sparkling wine brand. This year is was hosted by House of Bonang, a brand based on a South African fashion influencer. I decided to have a glass as what is an event without some bubbles right? I went with the sparkling rose and it was actually delicious with soft fruity tones. I love my bubbly but R95 a glass was a bit extra, especially as we do live in a country where we make amazing bubbly and wines that doesn’t have to cost that much.

I do recommend at least attending this event at least once, even if fashion isn’t your thing. It’s one of those staple events that helps define Cape Town and South Africa’s creative industry. Plus, it’s fun!

Keep it stylish,



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