Black Panther may prove why afrofuturism matters, but its fans are proving why African fashion matters. Early screenings for the Marvel film have been filled with moments of Black fashion magic, mixing contemporary curated looks, cosplay costumes and traditional African attire.
Viewers have shown off colorful African dresses and headwraps with intricate patterns, beautiful patchwork and embellished details — looks that capture the fashions in South Africa that inspired Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter.
But most of the fashions have really caught eyes because folks have first dressed themselves in cultural pride, a special feeling from within.
“Somebody that looks like me is a superhero and nobody is whitewashing it. And it’s beautiful,” tattoo artist Elisheba Mrozik, who attended one of the first showings of the film in Nashville, said to The Associated Press.
Learning about stories of Black men and women during Black History Month and within the Black Panther comic universe has many folks shining brighter than stars. “We’re excited because we get representation in a film that’s not about slavery, that’s not about trials and tribulations, but about a powerful African empire, which is where we come from in the first place,” Mrozik added.
Their pride has inspired their fashions, intertwined with a movie that displays a wildly different view of Africa than has been previously seen in movies. Wakanda is a forward-thinking, progressive and technologically advanced nation, devoid of much of the effects of colonization. The fictional nation is full of strong female heroes and a Black king, among other notable stables. Yes, royalty, royalty, royalty.
Why not show up to a screening looking like royalty? Nashville moviegoer Latarsher White and her family wore custom-made African gowns and suits to celebrate their heritage.
“It’s just an opportunity to explore those regal roots and to know that some of us do come from royalty,” White said. “It’s bigger than what we see every day and what’s represented. It’s just connecting to your heritage and that royal lineage to a degree. And so it’s always good to play dress- up.”
People are seriously representing for the culture. Check out some of the other beautiful photos and videos of beautiful Black Panther-inspired fashions on social media:
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South Africa Slay
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