South Stand Sartorialist: Our 10 favourite Rugby Sevens costumes as captured by Hong Kong-based photographer

For a lot of people who go to the Rugby Sevens, the costumes paraded through the South Stand are almost tantamount to the sport itself.

Hong Kong-based Dutch photographer Sarie Moolenburgh’s series “Rugby Sevens People” offers a small glimpse into the colourful fancy dress parade at the South Stand. We’ve chosen our 10 favourite photos of the lot, ranging from superhero costumes to fast food-inspired garms (yes, really).

Ah yes, who can forget Piggate? There are probably subtler ways to reference David Hameron Cameron’s porcine PR disaster, but we quite like this on-the-nose  sorry, on-the-snout approach.

Moolenburgh describes her usual work as “fine art photography, focusing on portraits”, which certainly comes across in her intimate, solo portraits – taken entirely on her iPhone – despite the rather lighthearted context.

This man’s costume was actually part of a group homage to Mad Max. This guy’s take on Immortan Joe from Fury Road was the most instantly recognisable of the trio. Shiiiny.

“Most of my work captures the inner feelings somewhere in between realism and fantasy, creating a surrealistic feel,” Moolenburgh told Coconuts Hong Kong.

Last year, Sanrio said Hello Kitty wasn’t a cat, but a little girl. We say why stop there? Why can’t Hello Kitty in fact be a super hairy guy (Hirsute Kitty?) wearing a shirt that honestly wouldn’t be out of place in a 1990s acid rave?

The photos, which were taken on Saturday, were purposefully set away from the overcrowded seats of South Stand. “I tried to come close to people by isolating them for a few seconds,” Moolenburgh said.

If Monica Geller can do the dishes in a wedding dress, then this woman can be a South Stand bride. You do you, gal.

We’re not entirely sure, but this outfits screams “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” to us… with one slight addition.

“Although they are wearing funny and crazy outfits, my aim was to go beyond that and create an art object [out] of each person,” she said.

Empire State Building hat, check. I Heart New York shirt, check. Now all we need is a fanny pack to complete the “I’m from out of town” look.

“Instead of capturing them with their fellows and rest of [their] group in the busy South Stand, I was looking for the beauty in each of them.”

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, eh lads?

Classic Carmen Miranda getup, with a sunny smile to boot!

In doing so, the photographer aimed to capture an intimacy between herself and her subjects. “I shot everything with my iPhone, to create a small distance between me and these great people.”

We don’t know what brought about this stroke of genius, but we absolutely have to applaud the craftsmanship that went into that papier mâché drumstick. 

We wonder what happened to make this Batman look so sad… *cue Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence*

The rest of “Rugby Sevens People” can be viewed on Moolenburgh’s website.

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