Over the past few years, the SONA red carpet has always been a trending topic, attracting a fair mix of positive and negative attention. We know that comments on social media are extremely unreserved, so the anticipation for the 2016 SONA red carpet is no doubt building. This is a great opportunity for ministers and officials to build relationships with local designers and stylists by being on the forefront of the latest runway trends.

Who can forget the ANC’s Thandile Sunduza’s yellow outfit that drew so much attention at the 2014 SONA?

So what can we expect to see this year? The experts have spoken.

READ MORE: Gallery: State of the Nation Address

“Considering we’ve just come out of the festive season, we should expect to see a lot of light, happy colours,” Vanya Mangaliso, co-creator of Sun Goddess, told DESTINY. “I think white will definitely be trending. There’s always the element of tradition which our parliamentarians love to exhibit, so we can look forward to a good mixture of local designs. We can also expect to see a lot of bling, and a few ballgowns here and there.”

Designer David Tlale also weighed in. “Given the history of parliament, it’s difficult to determine exactly what we can expect, but here’s what I’m hoping: I sincerely hope to see no evening wear, since the red carpet opens during the day. The SONA red carpet isn’t a platform for clowns, so I hope we don’t see any disastrous egg-yellow dresses. Fashion is serious business, so ministers and officials in the public eye should link up with the amazing stylists and designers we have in South Africa.”

READ MORE: Gallery: State of Nation Address

“Trends currently headlining are flowing lace mermaid dresses, almost bordering on bridesmaid styles,” Tlale adds. “Some will get it right; some won’t. The African traditional element will definitely be evident – your Xhosa and Pedi prints. But parliamentarians shouldn’t be predictable and wear Xhosa prints if they’re from the Xhosa culture. Lift it a bit.”

While none of the designers may disclose who they’ll be dressing, we can definitely expect to see some David Tlale, Gavin Rajah and Sun Goddess masterpieces on the SONA red carpet. We wait in anticipation!