Kayla Stamboul


Kayla Stamboul

When I was a little girl, attending the Durban July seemed like a dream. Every year without fail I'd turn on the TV and watch all the glamorous outfits that the attendees would parade around in; from the dramatic hats to the over-the-top dresses, it seemed magical. My afternoon would be dedicated to closely watching how the day unfolds and I'd gush about the fashion with my mom. Sure most people attend the event in anticipation of the winning horse but for me... fashion is and always has been: KING!

This year I had the honour of attending the annual Durban July but first, lets rewind back to the Thursday before I left. So there I was, one day before the event; I had no dress, no shoes, no idea what I would do to my hair, all I had was a fabulous coat (oh yes... the coat, we'll get back to that later). So much for being the organised person I claim to be. The clock struck 12pm and I began to feel overwhelmed, where do I begin? In Sandton of course; however, this was a problem that even Sandton City couldn't solve. Pressed for time, I picked up the phone; dialed Ryan Keys (please pick up, please pick up, please pick up) and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey Ryan, how you doing? You sound busy.

Ryan: I'm good, just bloody mad at all these people calling me for Durban July outfits at the last minute!

Me: (laughs nervously) Uhm... Ryan, please don't hate me but I've just become one of those people. YOU'VE GOT TO HELP ME!

Ryan: Bleep, bleep, bleep WOMEN bleep, bleep LAST MINUTE bleep, bleep. Sure you can pop in anytime.

I'm sure you get the picture. I immediately made my way from Sandton to Keys Fashion (find the address below - you're welcome) and was welcomed in true Keys Fashion, with a warm hug and questions on the type of dress I was looking for. At the time, I hadn't decided if I wanted something short or long but as soon as I laid my eyes on this mini beaded dress; I was sold! It was the first and ONLY dress that I tried on which should be a miracle to women all around the world. It fit like a glove!

It didn't end there though, after leaving Keys Fashion, I made my way back to Sandton City in search of the perfect shoe. Steve Madden was my first stop and once again I went with the first and only shoe I tried on. Next stop: hair salon - to make an appointment and explain exactly how I wanted my hair to be done the next day. Sorted? Not quite! There's a problem with my flight, I need to book again, and most tickets are sold out which leaves me flying at the most awkward times. Seriously? What else can go wrong? Friday morning: hair appointment goes way over designated time which now makes me late for my radio show. Great! I barge into the studio 10 minutes late and rush out as soon as all formalities are done. Off to the airport? Not quite! Since my hair took long I had to rush straight to the studio instead of going home to pick up my bags like I planned. I get home, call an Uber and attempt to get my life in order before my Uber arrives. Thank goodness this monstrous day is almost over! Not quite! I get to the airport and it's as busy as I've ever seen it, there are queues EVERYWHERE! Okay, I'll have to be patient. I make my way to self check-in, grab a bite to eat and make my way to the designated boarding gate, I get there and my boarding gate has changed from C12 to E12 which is all the way on the other side and an escalator ride down. Geez! What next? I had to ask... my flight has been delayed!

At this point I felt like the past 24hours of my life would make a great movie. However, I made it to Durban in one piece, luggage safe, outfit as hand luggage (because you never know) and ready to take on the fashion scene at the Durban July. The weather was beautiful, the event was fabulous, the fashion was crazy, the food was delicious (your girl had VIP tickets *wink*) and overall it was an amazing experience. Would I attend the event again? In a heartbeat! Perhaps with a bit more preparation this time.

Oh, I didn't get back to the coat yet. I purchased this coat while I was down in Cape Town two weeks ago. I was shopping around the V&A Waterfront and as I walked by the Diesel store, this amazing creation caught my attention. I had to have it! Even if it was the only thing I purchased during my stay, I'd be happy. I walked into the store, admiring this coat, doubtful that it would fit but guess what? It did and oh so perfectly. I walked away with a heavy heart, giving myself time to sleep on it but I couldn't get it out of my mind. My stay was coming close to an end and still no coat. The following day I went back to the mall and vowed that I wouldn't leave without it. I made my way back to the store, hopeful that it was still there but at the same time preparing myself for the worst because there was only one left and what kind of person wouldn't snatch it up. "Oh gosh I should have just taken it, it's definitely gone" I thought to myself but alas I walked into the store and it was front and centre, waiting for a good home. Would it be far fetched to claim that the universe aligned all the stars in my life to bring me to this pivotal moment that would unite me with this coat? LOL that's just how much I love it.

I got back from Durban with a bad case of flu that has been building up since Friday but when you love what you do as much as I do, nothing can hold you down. Perseverance is key, never give up on your dreams even if it seems insignificant to others.

Just a little Monday motivation.



Dress: Keys Fashion (30, 4th Avenue Parkhurst, Johannesburg - more info on www.keysfashion.co.za)

Faux Fur Coat: Diesel

Earrings: Fifth Avenue Collection

Shoes: Steve Madden

Sunglasses: Prada

Hair: Candi & Co