After watching Black Panther, we said that, just like the movie, the fashion in it was a massive hit. This wouldn't have been possible without costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, who clearly did her homework and took African fashion to a new level in the blockbuster.
In a recent video with Vanity Fair, Carter broke down T'Challa's iconic entrance scene into Wakanda in the first act, as well as the symbolism of each outfit in some key scenes throughout the film.
It was very easy to pick up on the African influences in the movie's costumes. For example, Queen Ramonda's distinct and elegant headdress is reminiscent of the Zulu headdress called 'Izicolo', which is normally worn by married women at ceremonial events.
Speaking to Vogue about how she brought Wakandan fashion to life, Carter said:
"I selected things from indigenous tribes and implemented them in a futuristic model.
Because the culture that Ryan Coogler created is unique, I could combine elements of many African tribes - including the colour red, the triangle shape, neck rings and beadwork - without worrying about cultural appropriation."
In the video, Carter reveals the hidden meanings behind the fabrics she chose for the costumes and her usage of symbolism in the clothes — such as the Dora Milaje's armour being sterling silver to display opulence, while Okoye's is gold to set her apart as the general. She also breaks down the colours of each tribe, and their traditional wear linking them to the original African influence.
Black Panther is now available on Blu-ray and for digital download, so now you can watch it again with these notes from her to explain the film better.
Watch Ruth E Carter break down the costumes right here: