Wakanada Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week has officially commenced and the City of Wakanda from Marvel’s Black Panther has taken over. Monday night’s star studded event, Marvel’s Black Panther: Welcome to Wakanda, featured 10 fashion designers that contributed to the movie. The City of Wakanda came to life turning the venue into a rain forest displaying greenery around the beautiful designs. Cast members such as Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright were in attendance to support.
The labels include Chormat, Cushnie et Ochs, LaQuan Smith, Ikiré Jones, Sophie Theallet and TOME. The designers contributed custom made clothing, jewelry and footwear inspired by characters in the movie, which will be auctioned off by Charitybuzz, in support of the “Save the Children” international humanitarian charity organization. The show also featured Black Panther inspired capsule collections by Brother Vellies, Dorian Fletcher, and Josh Bennett which are now available for purchase.
Each designer had special inspirations for their designs. For LaQuan Smith, his focus was to combine glam with power. “I wanted it to be something that was sort of like my glamorous take on what it meant to be a woman who lives in Wakanda,” Smith told Essence Magazine. For Carly Cushnie, her focus for the Cushnie et Ochos collection was the strength of a woman, and inspired by the women in the film. Wale Oyejide designer for the brand Ikiré Jones, was inspired by African King Living in the 21st century.
Black Panther is more than just a super hero movie but also a representation of Black people and Africa. Although Wakanda is a fictional city, the movie is to help others see Africa in a more positive light. Most view Africa with a Eurocentric world view. We see the feed the children commercials and think that all of Africa is poor and dirty. The fashion showcased in the movie and this charity event, shows otherwise, Africa is a rich continent full of color, patterns and style. The highly anticipated movie also creates more space for Black and African people in Hollywood, casting all black actors and actresses.
If you havent seen the movie and have no idea what to wear, I have a few ideas. You could wear all black like the Black Panther organization that arose in the 1970’s or sport African garb from head to toe. For a bit of flare, I’m thinking a little bit of both would be appropriate for the special occasion. Both styles represent the black community as one; tying Black Americans and Africans together. These collections will help give movie goers style inspiration and a sense of African pride.
Article by Asia Lambert