Too bad not all the set pictures are available online (you'll have to see the movie to catch the details). The scenes where T'Challa isn't in the Black Panther superhero costume definitely caught my eye. Costume designer, Ruth Carter, who worked on notable films like Malcolm X (for which she was nominated for an Oscar) had a guiding concept of Wakanda "as a place never colonized by the Dutch or the English." This translates to some special costumes that blend traditional and futuristic designs.
One element relevant to Y.F.T. in Marvel's new Black Panther movie is the stunning costume design throughout the movie. Specifically, the traditional thobes that graced the Black Panther and Wakanda King, T'Challa. (FYI there are NO spoilers here - but if you haven't seen the movie yet, wakanda person are you??)
In the dream sequence we get this close-up shot of a traditional white thobe (seriously your local Islamic store will have something very similar). When the camera pans out, you see it is long thobe worn with pants that simultaneously gives a pure and regal vibe.
Another stunner is this black thobe with an intricate gray design. It's actually a high-low design, with a cape-like back and worn with loose pants. This is one of those scenes that you can tell was collaborated closely by the costume designer and the director. When the camera finally sweeps to the full length, we see it's actually a long top and the new King has paired it with the most basic leather sandals (his sister promptly fixes that!)
One thing that is consistent is the fit of the garments. The thobe is normally a very loose garment, but everything worn by T'Challa was tailored. Below, is a rendition of the above costume. The tailored fit, high collar, sweeping length give a strong and sophisticated feel.
Lastly, prints and texture were an important part of the costume design even when not wearing a traditional garment.
This silk scarf by clothing brand Ikire Jones is tied in a knot and draped over a classic black suit. It's not only good styling, but a statement of culture with the Africana artwork on the scarf. Having this specific brand at this point of the movie is especially noteworthy. Ikrie Jones reworks museum-curated European (white) paintings to feature people of African descent, making an obvious statement on prominent imagery, and its place in relation to cultural perception and value. I'm inclined to think costume designer Ruth Carter made this very specific costume choice for this moment: T'Challa and Wakanda have an incredible value to offer the world and they are longer in the background of society rather front and center of it.
Did you love the costumes in Black Panther? Which ones caught your eye? And, do you predict an Oscar for costume designer Ruth Carter?
written by Ammara (@ammaraza)