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The J&B Met: Das Kapital

2008-01-29 09:44
Snappy SA celebs @ the Met

Cape Town's racing affair du jour is less "the place to see and be seen" than its promoters would have us believe, and more an excuse to dress up and trip around on turf suited more to horses than to stiletto heels.

And don't go to the J&B Met if you're expecting a relaxed jol. It's all about looking good and getting into the right tents with the right people, like the exclusive J&B tent where the "celebrities" (read: a profusion of Top Billing presenters and a beauty queen whose name no one can remember) shield themselves from the sun and the rest of the drunken rabble.

If you aren't lucky enough to get access to one of the company sponsored tents you must wander around on the fringes of the race track, trying your hand at betting while drinking wine out of a plastic cup.

The event is less bourgeois than it was probably intended to be. The crowds outside the tents are more likely to be donning a Mr Price find or that dress from last year's wedding/matric dance than they are to pitch up in Haute Couture.

Even the celebrities had the loosest interpretation of the theme of "Connect Couture: plum, patterns and metallic".

As the heat intensified and the crowds grew more bucolic in their movements the entire event seemed a textbook perfect metaphor for society. If the textbook was Marx's Das Kapital.

On the fringes of the track, the un-tented proletariat lurched from one barely shaded patch of grass to another, grasping at their betting forms. Dressed in their working class best they held their plastic glasses of wine aloft as they stumbled amongst the litter. It was as if they were taken from the nightclub where they rightfully belonged and inexplicably transported to a grass patch alongside some sweaty horses. Weird.

Cut to the inner sanctum of the company tents and the mood changes like Tom Cruise on a talk show. Fountains discreetly bubble and elegant couples and the odd famed face here and there traverse manicured lawns.

But there's always next year to try and crack that tent invite. If you can't beat them... as they say.

- Verashni Pillay
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