The “Black Panther” cast and attendants of the premiere stuck with the theme of the movie and dressed up as characters of the fictional nation of Wakanda. The attendees kept with the “royal attire” theme and showed up on the purple carpet in a massive display of regal, African-inspired outfits.
Taking inspiration from the film’s costumes (which were all designed by Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter), Lupita Nyong’o channeled her character, Nakia, while wearing a purple, custom-made Atelier Versace chiffon gown which had a gold metal hardware harness that looked like armor. Chadwick Boseman, who plays the Wakandan ruler T’Challa, looked the part in a black and gold blazer made by Emporio Armani.
Letitia Wright plays Princess Shuri. Her character interpretation came in the form of a black-and-white embroidered Bibhu Mohapatra gown, which stylist Ade Samual helped pick.
“We talked about what the movie meant and how strong it was and wanted to give that same powerful feel to Letitia’s look on the red carpet,” said the stylist, who took inspiration from her own Nigerian roots while researching the theme before landing on the ethereal, embellished number for Wright. “Letitia plays such a riveting character and she brings a light to the role. Keeping her fresh and young was the idea.”
The cast weren’t the only people dressing for the occasion. Yara Shahidi wore a youthful, white Etro gown and Christian Louboutin sandals, while British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo wore a traditional dashiki. “Insecure’s” Issa Rae showed out for the occasion in a pleated white Rosie Assoulin dress with rainbow-colored panels, paired with Giuseppe Zanotti metallic shoes.
Even actor and musician Janelle Monáe worked with stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn to put her own spin to the theme while maintaining her own persona. “Something black and white, but also something sculptural and avant-garde that felt very regal,” explains Mandelkorn. She then went with a billowing skirt paired with a top featuring two-tone sleeves. Monáe finished the look with an Erickson Beamon tribal choker and a traditional black kufi cap filled with gold embroidery.
“It looks like a crown,” Mandelkorn said. “It was very fitting for the theme.”