It’s perfectly timed that New York Fashion Week coincided with the futuristic African savanna landscape of the much anticipated Black Panther. To celebrate, Marvel Studios brought the film to New York’s most fashionable week.
“Welcome to Wakanda,” hit the runways on Monday featuring designs by Chromat, Fear of God, LaQuan Smith, Wale Oyejide of Ikire Jones, and more. The incredible statement jewelry was designed by Douriean Fletcher for the superhero blockbuster. The film, which opens Friday, features an amethyst and 18-karat gold plate piece worn by Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda.
The pieces in the show referenced the film — but also created new dialogue. Aurora James of Brother Vellies designed a pair of tan boots made from Haitian sisal hairs as a commentary on black women and hair. Chromat’s Becca McCharen named one of her designers Tolu Aremu as executive creative director for the brand’s vision,, and the result was a stunning floor-length gown made out of Ankara fabric.
Backstage, Nick Barose, who works often with Lupita Nyong’o, led the makeup team, creating a look “inspired by African face art but with a futuristic edge.” The team used Lancôme’s Drama Liqui-Pencil and Monsieur Big Eyeliner Marker. The results of the show were spectacular — lush greenery washed in purple lighting and a vibe that felt, as The Cut described, like Blade Runner: Nigeria.
Aremu told the Associated Press, “I thought of my mother. Growing up she’s always worn African garb and I wanted to make this an ode to my mom, being the superhero in my life. Afrocentric fashion is definitely having a fashion moment right now.”