Now, on the first day of Black Panther’s global release, African fashion has remained a topic of conversation as it proves to be one of the key elements that make the blockbuster so special.
African fashion in the context of the film has also extended to the fans who are turning out in droves to see it.
From the midnight showings to the matinees, moviegoers have arrived to watch Black Panther dressed head-to-toe in traditional African garb.
Kente cloth originating from the Akan people, dashikis from West Africa, and other African styles were prominently featured on fans who wished to keep with the theme of the film and accentuate an image of pride and respect for African heritage. Facial white dots, beaded jewelry, and South Africa's stunning springbok accessories also appeared in group selfies of people that came out to enjoy the film with their own Wakandan tribe.
Designed by legendary costume designer, Ruth Carter, Black Panther looks were pulled from the traditional African wardrobes of the Sotho, Zulu, and Xhosa people. “We didn’t really have …a visual model of people living in Wakanda” said Carter in a recent interview for the Atlantic. “So it was kind of a fantasy or an imagined place for me. It was very intimidating. Creating a world is no joke.”
Ruth’s approach to creating a pan-Africanist aesthetic that was inclusive of various black cultures, including black people living in the diaspora, was skillfully executed in a way that respectfully and prominently reflects the distinct and equally stunning nature of each group.