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Zee Fashionista: The GQ Best-Dressed Men Awards 2011


The GQ Best-Dressed Men Awards 2011

DAPPER: The GQ best dressed men of 2011 receive their awards (Photo: Elza Smit)

Simply put, award shows are contentious.

Very rarely will you find an award show where every single person agrees on who should have gotten an award, who should have been nominated, who should have been invited to the event etc etc etc.

After browsing through a number of websites and hearing the opinions of a number of different people on the GQ Best-Dressed Men Awards that took place on Monday night at the Westcliff Hotel, it's safe to say that not everyone is happy with the Top 10 list.

But here's the thing - not everyone needs to be happy. Sure, I wasn't 100% certain about everyone who made the list, and this is probably because I'm not familiar with those men, or I haven't seen them out often enough to judge whether they do have the necessary style to be list. Or maybe it's just my own, personal bias - I mean, we all have different ideas on style.

My problem is that too many times, people have hasty opinions about people (good or bad) without the sufficient information. In this case, people just do not know who some of these guys are. They have not seen these guys in person. More importantly, they just do not know what the judging criteria was.

What I'm proposing is context. This isn't the best dressed 'celebrity' awards or the 'most popular celeb who we see on a gossip show and who we now think is stylish' awards. I applaud GQ for even having a platform that celebrates men who 'make an outfit their own' in a climate when men's fashion is grossly underrepresented in South Africa.

So yes, let's argue about who made it the list, or who we think should have been there instead. But let's also keep in mind that the men who are nominated are leaders in the variety of fields they are from. The judges this year were GQ, advised by Thulane Hadebe, Malikah Hajee, Hlelo Masina and Ntando Masina, YFM DJs, Melissa Maxted-Henderson, Style Editor of Heat Magazine, Liezl van der Westhuizen, TV Presenter and Seth Rotherham, winner of GQ Best-Dressed 2010. Moreover, a new crop of men are chosen each year which opens up the opportunity for a lot men more to get recognition for their style.

I'm also really happy that GQ included the Best Dressed Reader award this year, and the winner, Anthony Bila, certainly deserved the award. Also, there was the Best Dressed Woman on the night award, which went to Juanita Boschoff who did look beautiful in a bright pants suit. Yes, let's critique the awards, but we should at least have some knowledge behind this.

With all that said, here are the

 1. Oscar Pistorius, athlete
2. Masego 'Maps' Maponyane, model and TV presenter
3. Ziyon, music producer and vocalist for Liquideep

4. AKA, rapper and music producer
5. Jamey Lipschitz, regional manager at Sanlam
6. Yaaseen Cader, model and leather goods artisan

7. Loyiso Gola, comedian and TV presenter
8. Mncedisi Mayekiso, businessman
9. Jamal Nxedlana, multidisciplinery artist
10. Trevor Madondo, radio producer and entrepreneur

Oscar Pistorius took the top honour and he does deserve the award as  a genuinely stylish man and icon. I'm super happy for Maps because I think that he is one man who an inherent sense of style (I loved those bright socks!). And Aka, the only rapper on the list. It's awesome to see a South African rapper who is sartorially polished get the necessary recognition. And Jamal - I love Jamal - his outrageous style is captivating.

I'm making it my mission not only to find out more about the rest of the men on this list but also to actively seek to find South Africa's most stylish men in my series of posts, The Philosophy of Style.
Where can GQ improve? I think next year the nominations should be made open to the public, and the judges should be left to decide the top 10. Also, if the judging criteria was explained to the public, maybe then can people can understand the logic behind the final Top 10.

Monday night was incredible. Plain and simply - I had an amazing time. I'll take any opportunity to see the growth of South African fashion and style, and I think these awards are one step in a whole more we need to see in South African men's fashion.

My buddy Nthabi and I at the event. (Picture credit: GQ.co.za)
(Picture credit for Top 10 images: Kris Moolman for GQ)

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At October 19, 2011 at 6:07 PM , Blogger LocalCeleb said...

I don't see Mr. Parks listed :)

Glad you had a great time at such an amazing event.


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