Black Panther is the first Marvel superhero movie with a black lead and mostly black cast, which includes Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown and Letitia Wright.
In Marvel universe world, costume design is extremely important, as it is one of the prime elements that brings up the identity of the character (from integration of technology, expression and unique designs to each outfit ), throughout the movie.
It is a great creative challenge for a fashion designer, on this case, Marvel chose Ruth Carter as the perfect fit for Black Panther.
From Selma, Amistad to Malcolm X, Costume Designer, Ruth Carter has been creating masterpieces for over two decades, honouring black history through fashion.
A “speciality costume design” is a costume that has molded elements. Its one that is entirely created into a unique and one of a kind form. These unique elements are derived from computerized machines that compose physical materials from the design. – Ruth Carter
African elements are the main characteristics, with connections from Masaai warriors to Pharaos, with futuristic looks, as Wakanda is technologically advanced.
From the long front tabard, made with leather harness , the beads that are symbolic of social status, also are used in art, and tribal sacred ceremonies to appeal to the spirits. The pieces are crafted in the tradition of the Nigerian Yoruba Diviners belts, each with its own identity.
Modelled after the “Agbada” found amongst the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, West Africa, this garment consisted of four layers: Awosake, Awotele, Sokoto, and an Accent layer. In a more simple terminology: Top layer slide tubes joined together mixed with a rope, similar to a poncho. Then the other layer us s a undercoat, also made of silk, with raised geometric textures and shapes. Metal detailing comes from the Tuareg people if the Sahara desert, each also have a special meaning. The trousers have influence of the “Sokoto”, with patterned shapes and also made of silk.
Extensive research of the continent as source of inspiration for wakanda can certainly be seen and well implemented (everything from the colors to the beadwork to the jewelry in the film can be traced back to African tribes) and that is a beautiful way to honour African culture.
We are looking forward to the premiere of the movie, which is due release February 13th. Don’t miss it!
Watch the latest TV trailer here and further styling details below. enjoy